Postdisaster interdependent built environment recovery efforts and the effects of governmental plans: Case analysis using system dynamics

Sungjoo Hwang, Moonseo Park, Hyun Soo Lee, Sanghyun Lee, Hyunsoo Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Because diverse functional losses of the overall built environment (e.g., buildings, industrial facilities, and civil infrastructure) from a disaster event cause tremendous inconveniences to refugees, it is essential to implement swift recovery plans. However, in a postdisaster recovery situation, when resources and time are severely limited, there exist difficulties in implementing appropriate plans. These difficulties are attributable to a lack of comprehensive understanding of the overall recovery processes, caused by associated interdependency among the functions of a facility/infrastructure and the dynamic features of multiple recovery efforts. Thus, this research develops a system dynamics (SD) model to understand overall recovery efforts in the whole region from a holistic perspective. Based on an actual disaster case (the 2011 earthquake of Tohoku), this research conducts a case study to analyze the effectiveness of governmental plans. The simulation results show that governmental plans primarily aimed at recovering the daily lives of populations may not always be helpful for rapid restoration operations. The findings also suggest that considering the associated interdependency among built environment functions in recovery planning is key to supporting not only the rapid functional recovery of the facilities but also the improvement of poor restoration work environments. In this situation, the timely uses of preplanned and government-centered recovery programs (e.g., temporary housing and temporary debris movement) can be more effective with a comprehensive understanding of dynamic features in interdependent and multiple recovery efforts. Further, it is expected that these analytical capabilities have the potential to support recovery planners both in developing effective special recovery programs and in providing improved institutional strategies. Policy implications and lessons learned from a past recovery case can also be helpful in providing specific guidelines for future disaster recovery planning.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Construction Engineering and Management
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 American Society of Civil Engineers.


  • Case studies
  • Computer-aided simulation
  • Disaster recovery
  • Dynamic analysis
  • Project planning and design
  • Rehabilitation


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