I have been trying to get the architectural community more involved in the preparing for the Cascadia earthquake/tsunami and resiliency. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) was at one time very involved in emergency preparedness and in the 1970’s help come up with the response-relief-mitigation cycle. In recent years, the AIA had lost interest in the topic and even been cutting back institutional support for the topic. This is finally turning around, both locally and nationally. The Portland AIA has taken an strong interest in the seismic upgrade of schools. The New York AIA has become aware of resilience following Hurricane Sandy and created a program called Post Sandy: Creating a Resilient New York.
The national AIA is now taking a more active interest and starting the shift to resilience, led by Cooper Martin. I had worked with Cooper on an AIA Sustainable Design Assessment Team for Hilo Hawaii, where my twin interests in earthquake/tsunami resilience and historic preservation were a good mix for looking at Hil0’s historic downtown. After letting Cooper know of the Oregon Resilience plan, Cooper followed up with me with four questions that are featured on the AIA’s website Issues & Advocacy webpage.