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Community resilience, social memory and the post-2010 Christchurch (New Zealand) earthquakes

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Abstract

This article explores the importance of social memory for community resilience pathways in the city of Christchurch (New Zealand) in the wake of the post-2010 earthquakes. Specific emphasis is placed on understanding how past earthquake history in Christchurch has influenced knowledge about, and responses to, the recent series of earthquakes. Building on previous work about possible impacts of social memory on community resilience, the paper argues that Christchurch residents were ill prepared for the sudden onset of on-going earthquakes, and that the continuing threat, and associated uncertainty, posed by these tremors is gradually eroding residents’ ability to cope and plan for the future.

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