Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Community resilience and urban core shelter implementation: A Wellington case study

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posted on 2021-11-22, 16:51 authored by Titmuss, Ralph Peter

As a result of climate change, extreme weather events are becoming more common around the world. Coupled with the ever-present threat of sea level rise that coastal cities face there is a potential for far more severe weather events to occur. This thesis will seek to understand how an existing city can adapt to a more hostile environment, and how in the event of an extreme weather occurrence it maintains its function. There is an urgent need to understand how a city can respond when faced with these situations. Previous extreme weather events, Katrina, the Indian Ocean tsunami, and extreme flooding around the world, highlight the danger of a lack of preparedness and resilience found in most cities.  The purpose of this thesis is to understand how the concept of a core shelter, as a way to address the threats of extreme weather events, can be applied to a well-established urban context, Wellington NZ. A core shelter is a structure that in the event of a large-scale disaster, protects its users, and post-disaster still reaches permanent housing standards without being deemed to be a permanent dwelling. It will also look at whether it is possible to create areas in an existing city that can be considered “safe havens” in the event of an extreme natural incident.  This thesis outlines the need for these shelters by identifying the potential threats of climate change in a Wellington context, and by understanding the vulnerability of Wellington’s current building stock. It reaches a conclusion that through the implementation of core shelters in Wellington NZ, resilience will be improved, disaster response efforts will be aided, and destruction arising from extreme weather events will be reduced. In addition, it identifies the areas of Wellington that are deemed to be of higher risk in a disaster or extreme weather event, analyses an existing building’s potential to become a community resilience/core shelter, and proposes a custom building that could be built on Leeds St and Ghuznee St.


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Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Master of Architecture (Professional)

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Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Architecture


McCarthy, Christine