TABLE 3.1 Linkages Between Facilities and the Five Overarching Grand Challenges.

Community Resilience Framework Decision Making Simulation Mitigation Design Tools
Community Resilience Observatory
Instrumented City
Earthquake Engineering Simulation Center
Earthquake Engineering Data Synthesis Center
Earth Observation
Rapid Monitoring Facility
Sustainable Materials Facility
Networked Geotechnical Centrifuges
SSI Shaking Table
Large-Scale Shaking Table
Tsunami Wave Simulator
Advanced Structural Subsystems Characterization Facility
Non-Structural, Multi-Axis Testing Facility
Mobile Facility for In Situ Structural Testing

Challenges. A simulation center and data synthesis center were identified as separate but interlinked facilities because of their very different services and capabilities.

Table 3.1 shows how the facilities discussed in this chapter could address the five overarching Grand Challenges described in Chapter 2. As one example from the table, the rapid monitoring facility addresses problems described in the Community Resilience Framework, Decision Making, and Simulation Grand Challenges. The ordering of the facilities does not indicate prioritization.


The community resilience observatory, as envisioned by participants in the “community resilience” breakout group, would encompass interlinked facilities that function as a laboratory without walls. It could integrate experimental testing and simulations with a holistic understanding of communities, stakeholders, decisions, and motivations. The observatory could support basic research on interdependencies among systems, the multiple dimensions of resilience, and analytic tools for resilience measurement that take those interdependencies. It could host evolving community data and coordinating models that use that data to produce knowledge about resilience. Participants noted that comprehensive datasets from past earthquakes that quantify both the direct and indirect impacts of these events, empirical indicators (e.g., socioeconomic information on communities) that measure the resilience or sustainability of communities from past disasters, and tools and platforms (software or social networking solutions) that allow researchers to access and use the above data in an open resource framework, would be especially important aspects of this data collection.

Several participants noted that the concept of a resilience observatory is not new. In 2008, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the U.S. Geological Survey supported a workshop that brought together leading researchers from the disaster research community to explore the creation of a new NSF observatory focused on resiliency and vulnerability. Such an observatory would address obstacles by “(1) supporting development of long-term longitudinal datasets; (2) investing in the development of data collection protocols to ensure comparable measurement in multiple socio-political environmental settings and across multiple hazards; (3) building on and complementing existing data collection efforts and activities in the public and private sectors; and (4) enhancing the sharing of data throughout research and practice communities” (Peacock et al., 2008).

The observatory concept discussed during this present workshop is similar to that of the 2008 workshop. Participants described this observatory as a virtual clearinghouse for a broad range of data that could be used to monitor, measure, and evaluate the resilience of a community. As discussed at the workshop, these data would be housed in different laboratories across the country and would be accessible by all researchers interested in studying community resilience. The observatory was also seen as a series of testbeds to study post-earthquake recovery in different parts of the country. By examining recovery in different regions, researchers could begin to evaluate the scalability of methodologies and models designed to measure community

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