Financializing Urban Resilience: Insurance, Reinsurance and Post-Disaster Reconstruction in Urban Regions

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups: Political Geography Specialty Group, Cultural and Political Ecology Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/10/2018
Start / End Time: 12:40 PM / 2:20 PM (MDT)
Room: Napoleon, Marriott, River Tower Elevators, 41st Floor
Organizers: Kevin Grove, Stephen Collier
Chairs: Kevin Grove


In the last fifty years, natural disasters in the United States—from Hurricane Betsy (1965) to Hurricane Andrew (1992) and Hurricane Sandy (2012)—have triggered dramatic changes in the insurance and reinsurance industry. These changes have shaped urban governance and urban and regional development, with significant implications for urban vulnerability to future disasters and for the distribution of such vulnerability among social groups. For these reasons, post-disaster changes in insurance and reinsurance are matters of immediate public interest and have crucial implications for policy. Yet these post-disaster processes tend to take place largely out of public view, and are poorly understood by urban officials, including those responsible for resiliency planning. For example, in the case of post-Sandy reconstruction, while the New York City government has received considerable attention for its resilience planning initiatives, less attention has been given to the way the insurance industry has deepened its involvement in resilience planning and has developed new mechanisms to deal with the risks of catastrophic losses and finance resiliency measures.

In this session, we seek to explore how the dynamic intersections between insurance, post-disaster recovery and reconstruction, and urban governance play out in practice. We are thus broadly interested in papers that analyze historical or contemporary post-disaster developments in the insurance and reinsurance industries, both in the US and abroad, and/or the role insurance plays in determining both the course of post-disaster reconstruction and the kinds of resiliency measures that are—or, just as frequently, are not—taken in anticipation of future disasters.


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Stephen Collier*, The New School, Savannah Cox*, University of California - Berkeley, Catastrophe Insurance and the Arts of Urban Governance 20 12:40 PM
Presenter Eleonora Rohland*, Bielefeld University, “Comprehensive-Risk” or “Flood-only”? The Controversies surrounding the National Flood Insurance Program in the Wake of Hurricane Betsy (1965) 20 1:00 PM
Presenter Rae Zimmerman*, NEW YORK UNIVERSITY, Financial Investments for Infrastructure Resilience as Potentially Influencing Insurance Related to Extreme Events 20 1:20 PM
Presenter Kevin Grove*, Florida International University, A genealogy of catastrophe insurance in the Caribbean 20 1:40 PM
Presenter Jennifer Lawrence*, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Interrogating the Role of Markets and Governments in Insuring Extreme Energy 20 2:00 PM

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