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Post-Wenchuan earthquake rural reconstruction and recovery in Sichuan China : memory, civic participation… Wu, Haorui 2014

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  POST-WENCHUAN EARTHQUAKE RURAL RECONSTRUCTION AND RECOVERY IN SICHUAN CHINA: MEMORY, CIVIC PARTICIPATION AND GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION   by Haorui Wu B.Eng., Sichuan University, 2006 M.Eng., Sichuan University, 2009  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF  DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE AND POSTDOCTORAL STUDIES  (Interdisciplinary Studies)  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver)   September 2014 ©Haorui Wu, 2014 ii Abstract On May 12, 2008, an earthquake of a magnitude of 7.9 struck Wenchuan County, Sichuan Province, China, which affected 45.5 million people, causing over 15 million people to be evacuated from their homes and leaving more than five million homeless. From an interdisciplinary lens, interrogating the many interrelated elements of recovery, this dissertation examines the post-Wenchuan earthquake reconstruction and recovery. It explores questions about sense of home, civic participation and reconstruction primarily based on the phenomenon of the survivors of the Wenchuan Earthquake losing their sense of home after their post-disaster relocation and reconstruction. The following three aspects of the reconstruction are examined: 1) the influence of local residents’ previous memories of their original hometown on their relocation and the reconstruction of their social worlds and lives, 2) the civic participation that took place throughout the post-disaster reconstruction, 3) the government interventions overseeing and facilitating the entire post-disaster reconstruction.   Based on fieldwork, archival and document research, memory workshops and walk-along interviews, a qualitative study was conducted with the aim of examining the earthquake survivors’ general memories of daily life and specific memories of utilizing space in their original hometown. This dissertation attempts to contribute toward improvement of post-disaster reconstruction (particularly in China) by considering survivors’ social and individual memories, which conveyed their place experience regarding their sense of home in their day-to-day lives in their original home. This understanding is applied to explore the survivor’s sense of home after the post-Wenchuan earthquake relocation and reconstruction.    iii This dissertation argues that the disregard of the social dimension in the relocation and physical reconstruction process resulted in failure of a creation of a sense of place among the inhabitants in the newly-built environment. Discussed also is how the local residents’ previous place-making experience played a pivotal role in the development of a new sense of home and in the process of social reconstruction in the new environment. It is suggested that government should guarantee the physical foundation of the reconstruction and ensure the local residents’ input will be utilized towards enhancing and improving the quality of post-disaster reconstruction, recovery and community resilience.  iv Preface This dissertation is an original intellectual product of the author Haorui Wu. The fieldwork reported throughout the dissertation was covered by UBC Ethics Certificate, number H12-00326.  A version of Chapter 4 was presented as “From new town to new home: memory-oriented post-disaster reconstruction in Sichuan, China”, at the 5th International Disaster and Risk Conference (IDRC), that was held in Davos, Switzerland, August 2014.   v Table of Contents Abstract	  ...................................................................................................................................................	  ii	  Preface	  ....................................................................................................................................................	  iv	  Table	  of	  Contents	  ...................................................................................................................................	  v	  List	  of	  Tables	  ...........................................................................................................................................	  x	  List	  of	  Figures	  .......................................................................................................................................	  xi	  Acknowledgements	  ..........................................................................................................................	  xvi	  Dedication	  .........................................................................................................................................	  xviii	  Chapter	  1:	   	   Introduction	  ............................................................................................................................	  1	  1.1	   The	  characteristics	  of	  post-­‐disaster	  reconstruction	  and	  recovery	  process	  ...............................	  8	  1.2	   The	  adaptation	  process	  to	  the	  new	  environment	  ...............................................................................	  10	  1.3	   Sense	  of	  place,	  place	  memory	  and	  participation	  in	  post-­‐disaster	  reconstruction	  and	  recovery:	  a	  conceptual	  framework	  ...........................................................................................................	  12	  1.3.1	   What	  is	  a	  “sense	  of	  home”?	  ....................................................................................................................................	  13	  1.3.2	   Place	  and	  place	  memory	  .........................................................................................................................................	  18	  1.3.3	   How	  does	  the	  sense	  of	  place	  relate	  to	  post-­‐disaster	  reconstruction	  and	  recovery?	  ....................	  21	  1.3.4	   Group	  and	  citizen	  participation	  and	  the	  establishment	  of	  a	  “sense	  of	  home”	  .................................	  28	  1.4	   Research	  questions	  ..........................................................................................................................................	  34	  1.5	   Outline	  ...................................................................................................................................................................	  37	  Chapter	  2:	   	   Research	  Methodology	  and	  Research	  Field	  Sites	  .....................................................	  41	  2.1	   A	  qualitative	  research	  study	  on	  place,	  memory	  and	  reconstruction	  ..........................................	  41	  2.2	   The	  research	  methods	  and	  instruments	  .................................................................................................	  43	   vi 2.2.1	   Archival	  research:	  tracing	  the	  old	  town/village	  and	  comparing	  them	  with	  the	  new	  towns/villages	  ............................................................................................................................................................	  45	  2.2.2	   Memory	  workshop	  ....................................................................................................................................................	  46	  2.2.3	   Walk-­‐along	  interview	  ...............................................................................................................................................	  55	  2.3	   Sites	  of	  fieldwork	  ..............................................................................................................................................	  57	  2.3.1	   Rural	  area	  vs.	  urban	  area	  ........................................................................................................................................	  62	  2.3.2	   Reconstruction	  models	  ............................................................................................................................................	  64	  2.4	   Participants	  in	  the	  study	  ................................................................................................................................	  65	  2.4.1	   Local	  survivors	  of	  the	  Wenchuan	  earthquake	  ...............................................................................................	  65	  2.4.2	   Policy	  and	  decision	  makers	  of	  the	  Wenchuan	  earthquake’s	  reconstruction	  ...................................	  67	  2.4.3	   Witnesses	  of	  the	  Tangshan	  earthquake	  and	  the	  Taiwan	  “921”	  earthquake	  ....................................	  68	  2.5	   Data	  analysis	  .......................................................................................................................................................	  74	  2.6	   Ethical	  considerations	  ....................................................................................................................................	  75	  2.7	   Standing	  at	  the	  crossroads:	  trustworthiness	  and	  credibility	  ........................................................	  77	  2.8	   Some	  practical	  considerations	  ....................................................................................................................	  81	  Chapter	  3:	   	   China’s	  Ambitious	  Post-­‐Disaster	  Reconstruction	  .....................................................	  83	  3.1	   Economic,	  social	  and	  political	  background	  and	  development	  ......................................................	  84	  3.1.1	   Economic	  development	  as	  the	  primary	  principle	  ........................................................................................	  84	  3.1.2	   The	  speed	  of	  urbanization	  .....................................................................................................................................	  86	  3.1.3	   Quality	  of	  the	  rapid	  infrastructural	  development	  .......................................................................................	  88	  3.1.4	   Economic	  development	  in	  the	  rural	  areas	  of	  western	  China	  ..................................................................	  90	  3.1.5	   Characteristics	  of	  the	  rural	  areas	  in	  the	  quake-­‐hit	  region	  .......................................................................	  91	  3.2	   Fast	  response	  to	  earthquake	  ........................................................................................................................	  96	  3.2.1	   Wenchuan	  earthquake	  reunited	  the	  Chinese	  people	  .................................................................................	  96	  3.2.2	   “Move	  heaven	  and	  earth	  to	  rescue	  earthquake	  survivors”	  ......................................................................	  99	  3.3	   Moving	  from	  tragic	  to	  heroic	  .....................................................................................................................	  103	  3.3.1	   Showpiece	  cities	  and	  towns	  ................................................................................................................................	  104	   vii 3.3.2	   Behind	  the	  “splendid”	  ............................................................................................................................................	  111	  3.4	   International	  and	  domestic	  experience	  regarding	  post-­‐disaster	  reconstruction	  ...............	  113	  3.4.1	   International	  experience	  ......................................................................................................................................	  113	  3.4.2	   Previous	  domestic	  experience	  ...........................................................................................................................	  115	  3.5	   How	  to	  coordinate	  social	  and	  physical	  reconstruction?	  ................................................................	  130	  Chapter	  4:	   	   Memory	  as	  Intervention	  .................................................................................................	  132	  4.1	   Memory’s	  role	  in	  the	  three	  stages	  of	  post-­‐disaster	  reconstruction	  ..........................................	  134	  4.2	   Emergency	  phase:	  memory	  of	  the	  disaster	  and	  immediate	  survival	  .......................................	  135	  4.2.1	   Background	  ................................................................................................................................................................	  136	  4.2.2	   Memory	  of	  survival	  .................................................................................................................................................	  137	  4.3	   Reconstruction	  phase:	  memories	  of	  the	  original	  town	  help	  the	  survivors	  to	  transform	  the	  new	  community	  ...............................................................................................................................................	  142	  4.3.1	   Background	  ................................................................................................................................................................	  142	  4.3.2	   Decrease	  the	  financial	  burden	  ............................................................................................................................	  145	  4.3.3	   “Make	  myself	  feel	  at	  home”	  .................................................................................................................................	  149	  4.4	   Long-­‐term	  recovery:	  “homesickness”	  and	  longing	  to	  return	  to	  their	  original	  home	  location	  ................................................................................................................................................................	  158	  4.4.1	   Background	  on	  the	  Luchi	  community	  .............................................................................................................	  160	  4.4.2	   Mrs.	  Chang’s	  family	  .................................................................................................................................................	  161	  4.4.3	   Back	  at	  the	  original	  home	  .....................................................................................................................................	  163	  4.5	   Memory-­‐guided	  place	  making	  ...................................................................................................................	  174	  Chapter	  5:	   	   Survivors’	  Participation	  and	  Civic	  Responses	  in	  the	  Reconstruction	  and	  Recovery	  Process	  .......................................................................................................................................	  177	  5.1	   Participation	  after	  Wenchuan	  earthquake	  ..........................................................................................	  178	  5.2	   Responses	  to	  emergency	  .............................................................................................................................	  182	  5.2.1	   Volunteer	  participation	  .........................................................................................................................................	  183	   viii 5.2.2	   Local	  residents	  informal	  participation	  ...........................................................................................................	  192	  5.3	   Long-­‐term	  volunteer	  support	  and	  advocacy	  ......................................................................................	  198	  5.3.1	   Teaching	  skills	  ...........................................................................................................................................................	  199	  5.3.2	   “Sichuan	  Earthquake	  Names	  Project”	  .............................................................................................................	  200	  5.4	   Making	  a	  home	  and	  establishing	  a	  sense	  of	  home	  ............................................................................	  209	  5.4.1	   Tracing	  the	  original	  home-­‐making	  activities	  ...............................................................................................	  209	  5.4.2	   Residents’	  role	  in	  reconstruction	  and	  long-­‐term	  recovery	  ....................................................................	  215	  5.4.3	   Disregard	  of	  local	  residents’	  input	  in	  the	  decision-­‐making	  process	  ..................................................	  219	  5.4.4	   Active	  informal	  participation	  ..............................................................................................................................	  228	  5.4.5	   Passive	  informal	  participation	  ...........................................................................................................................	  237	  Chapter	  6:	   	   Government	  Interventions:	  Incentives	  or	  Barriers	  ..............................................	  244	  6.1	   Balanced	  objectives	  stated	  in	  policy	  .......................................................................................................	  245	  6.1.1	   Central	  government’s	  release	  of	  directives	  ..................................................................................................	  247	  6.1.2	   Well-­‐considered	  components	  in	  reconstruction	  ........................................................................................	  253	  6.2	   Factors	  that	  caused	  the	  straying	  from	  the	  people-­‐centered	  intention	  ....................................	  256	  6.2.1	   Political	  ambition	  .....................................................................................................................................................	  257	  6.2.2	   Economic	  attraction	  ................................................................................................................................................	  264	  6.2.3	   Inefficient	  administration	  ....................................................................................................................................	  271	  6.3	   Consequences	  of	  disregarding	  and	  neglecting	  the	  social	  reconstruction	  ..............................	  298	  6.3.1	   The	  problematic	  reconstruction	  outcomes	  ..................................................................................................	  299	  6.3.2	   Urban-­‐like	  rural	  area	  ..............................................................................................................................................	  304	  6.3.3	   Re-­‐experience	  trauma	  ............................................................................................................................................	  309	  6.4	   Government	  interventions:	  blessing	  or	  curse	  ....................................................................................	  312	  Chapter	  7:	   	   Summary	  of	  Findings	  and	  Conclusions	  .....................................................................	  314	  7.1	   Major	  findings	  ..................................................................................................................................................	  315	  7.2	   Memory	  motivated	  the	  place-­‐making	  process	  ...................................................................................	  322	  7.2.1	   Memory	  triggered	  place-­‐making	  activities	  ...................................................................................................	  322	   ix 7.2.2	   Memory	  reflected	  the	  local	  residents’	  previous	  place-­‐related	  experience	  .....................................	  325	  7.3	   Conditional	  civic	  participation	  and	  government’s	  control	  ...........................................................	  327	  7.3.1	   Local	  residents’	  input	  into	  decision-­‐making	  process	  was	  blocked	  ....................................................	  328	  7.3.2	   Grassroots	  participation	  promoted	  the	  social	  reconstruction	  .............................................................	  331	  7.4	   Implications	  and	  recommendations:	  “citizen	  power”	  in	  urban	  design	  ...................................	  337	  Bibliography	  .....................................................................................................................................	  342	  Appendices	  ........................................................................................................................................	  415	  Appendix A Workshop Questions .......................................................................................... 415 Appendix B Walk-along Interview Questions ........................................................................ 417  x List of Tables Table 2.1 Participant demographics for workshops and walk-along interviews-Part 1 ............... 70	  Table 2.2 Participant demographics for workshops and walk-along interviews-Part 2 ............... 72	  Table 3.1 GDP comparison between China and the United States from 2001 to 2012 ................ 85	  Table 3.2 Premier ministers’ responses to four earthquakes ...................................................... 101	  Table 3.3 Basic information of several disasters worldwide ...................................................... 128	  Table 5.1 Groups’ involvement in Wenchuan earthquake’s reconstruction ............................... 179	  Table 5.2 Types of involvement of the unaffiliated volunteers and local residents in the Wenchuan earthquake’s reconstruction ...................................................................... 182	  Table 5.3 Local residents’ informal involvement during the reconstruction stage ..................... 216	  Table 6.1 Provincial partnering assistance arrangement of Sichuan Province ........................... 250	  Table 6.2 Major political decisions released after the Wenchuan earthquake ............................ 253	     xi List of Figures Figure 1.1 Locator map for the People’s Republic of China .......................................................... 2 Figure 1.2 2008 Sichuan earthquake map…………………………………………………………3 Figure 1.3 Map of Sichuan's regions, major cities and epicenter of earthquake, China…………..4 Figure 1.4 Theoretical contributions: post-disaster reconstruction and recovery………………..36 Figure 2.1 Sample of the tracing of the physical development of a town: the development of the City of Deyang from 1983 to 2008 (master plan of Deyang, 1983-2008) ................. 46	  Figure 2.2 Sample of two memory workshops ............................................................................. 47	  Figure 2.3 Sample of a family photo album ................................................................................. 50	  Figure 2.4 Sample of a traditional handicraft: embroidery made by a member of the Qiang ethnic group .......................................................................................................................... 51	  Figure 2.5 Sample of a child’s drawing of their original hometown brough by one parent ......... 51	  Figure 2.6 A will wall ................................................................................................................... 52	  Figure 2.7 Sample of an individual property ownership certificate, issued by the Government of Aba Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province, China 1956 ................................... 52	  Figure 2.8 Sample of a memory map ............................................................................................ 55	  Figure 2.9 Visual record of a brief rest during a particular walk-along interview ....................... 57	  Figure 2.10 Research locations in Sichuan, China ....................................................................... 59	  Figure 2.11 Research locations in Hebei, China ........................................................................... 60	  Figure 2.12 The research location in Taiwan ................................................................................ 61	  Figure 3.1 Adminstrative division in China .................................................................................. 92	  Figure 3.2 Sample of the traditional courtyard ............................................................................. 93	  Figure 3.3 Sample of a traditional house built by traditional materials and methods .................. 94	   xii Figure 3.4 National mourning for 2008 Sichuan earthquake victims - Tiananmen Square, Beijing, 2008-05-19 ................................................................................................................. 97	  Figure 3.5 Vigil for 5/12 Sichuan earthquake victims at Rice University .................................... 98	  Figure 3.6 汶川大地震,都江堰一名老妇被困50小时后,成功获消防人员救出 [An elderly woman was rescued after being trapped for over 50 hours. Dujiangyan, 2008 Sichuan earthquake]. .............................................................................................................. 100	  Figure 3.7 Sample of a showpiece town, Shuimo town .............................................................. 105	  Figure 3.8 Street view of the rebuilt City of Wenchuan ............................................................. 105	  Figure 3.9 View of the rebuilt City of Maoxian ......................................................................... 105	  Figure 3.10 On a street of new Beichuan .................................................................................... 106	  Figure 3.11 A stadium in the rebuilt city of Mianzhu ................................................................. 106	  Figure 3.12 The new Beichuan Normal College ........................................................................ 106	  Figure 3.13 The Wenchuan Earthquake Museum ....................................................................... 107	  Figure 3.14 The new Beichuan Library ...................................................................................... 107	  Figure 3.15 The new Mianzhu Exhibition Center ...................................................................... 107	  Figure 3.16 Far-view of the new town of Hongbai ..................................................................... 108	  Figure 3.17 Sample of nicely appearing street facade ................................................................ 110	  Figure 3.18 Sample of a destroyed house where people still lived ............................................. 111	  Figure 4.1人们冒险从江边的乱石堆中转移 [Sample of an emergency evacuation during the Wenchuan earthquake] ............................................................................................. 139	  Figure 4.2灾民翻山越岭转移出灾区 [Sample of an emergency evacuation] ........................ 139	  Figure 4.3 A landslide triggered by earthquake destroyed a small village ................................. 140	  Figure 4.4 A landslide destroyed the road .................................................................................. 140	   xiii Figure 4.5 Sample of incomplete ceiling .................................................................................... 146	  Figure 4.6 Sample of a kitchen in a newly built house ............................................................... 146	  Figure 4.7 Farming vehicles occupying the condominium driveways ....................................... 148	  Figure 4.8 Drying corn on the apartment balcony ...................................................................... 149	  Figure 4.9 Sample of a roof garden growing grass ..................................................................... 151	  Figure 4.10 Sample of a rooftop chess room .............................................................................. 151	  Figure 4.11 Sample of drying grain in the space beside the staircase ........................................ 153	  Figure 4.12 Several residents playing chess and majiang ........................................................... 154	  Figure 4.13 Parking lot for farming vehicles .............................................................................. 154	  Figure 4.14 Parking lot for private vehicles ................................................................................ 156	  Figure 4.15 Storehouse in the corner of the plaza ...................................................................... 156	  Figure 4.16 Walk-along interviewee, Mrs. Chang ...................................................................... 164	  Figure 4.17 Muddy road ............................................................................................................. 164	  Figure 4.18 Far view of the repaired house ................................................................................ 166	  Figure 4.19 Near view of the repaired house .............................................................................. 167	  Figure 4.20 Sample of building materials: wood (for pillars) .................................................... 169	  Figure 4.21 Sample of building materials: grass (for thatched roof) .......................................... 170	  Figure 4.22 Sample of farmland beside the county road ............................................................ 170	  Figure 4.23 Sample of poultry (ducks) ....................................................................................... 171	  Figure 4.24 Sample of a livestock shelter ................................................................................... 173	  Figure 4.25 Sample of a recently built storage room .................................................................. 173	  Figure 5.1 [Woman named] Kati rescuing dog [after] Sichuan earthquake May 2008 .............. 186	   xiv Figure 5.2 International volunteers celebrated International Children’s Day with children from the quake-hit area ..................................................................................................... 187	  Figure 5.3 Collecting aid in Chengdu for survivors of the 12 May 2008 earthquake in Sichuan, China ........................................................................................................................ 189	  Figure 5.4地震志愿者 Earthquake volunteers [from all around China] ................................... 190	  Figure 5.5 虽然也在露宿,但是烧点开水也是一份力 [Although they lived in the outdoors (were homeless now), boiling water is a kind of contribution as well] ................... 196	  Figure 5.6 Sample of collapsed school building ......................................................................... 202	  Figure 5.7 The parents of schoolchildren from Xinjian Elementary School holding a ceremony for the deceased children and their teachers ............................................................ 203	  Figure 5.8 Snake ceiling ............................................................................................................. 206	  Figure 5.9 Citizen investigation silhouette ................................................................................. 207	  Figure 5.10 Unrepaired home of an elderly widow .................................................................... 221	  Figure 5.11 Hongbai: a showpiece town ..................................................................................... 229	  Figure 5.12 Aerial view of the entire town ................................................................................. 230	  Figure 5.13 Sitting room of Mr. and Mrs. Liu’s home ............................................................... 231	  Figure 5.14 Red decorations on exterior wall ............................................................................. 234	  Figure 5.15 Garden with a small pond and a small bridge ......................................................... 235	  Figure 5.16 Overview of Mrs. Cai’s new house ......................................................................... 239	  Figure 5.17 Far-view of Mrs. Cai’s house and surroundings ..................................................... 241	  Figure 6.1 Sample of showpiece buildings ................................................................................. 258	  Figure 6.2 Sample of incomplete house interior ......................................................................... 259	  Figure 6.3 Sample of falling clay layer ....................................................................................... 302	   xv Figure 6.4 Sample of clay layer redecoration done before tourist high season .......................... 303	  Figure 6.5 2010 年 8 月 14 日新建汶川清平镇被洪水淹没[New Qingping town flooded out, August 14, 2010] ...................................................................................................... 310	    xvi Acknowledgements During the 6th anniversary of the Wenchuan earthquake, I have reached the final stage of my doctoral studies. All along the way, I have held the image in my mind of the suffering of those people in the quake-hit area in China. The effort that I make to attempt to help them is the only thing that keeps me going. The support and encouragement I have received from an ocean of individuals are what has sustained me.   I would like to express my sincere gratitude to my two supervisors Dr. Pilar Riaño-Alcalá and Dr. Miu Chung Yan. Dr. Riaño-Alcalá introduced me to a new field of memory, which has endowed me with a fresh, critical perspective, with which I have reexamined post-disaster reconstruction. Her guidance has made this a thoughtful and rewarding journey. I will always remember those many early mornings, receiving her valuable suggestions and how, during our countless meetings, she would utilize various methods to cultivate in me a greater degree of critical thinking, helping me to advance my research to increasingly higher stages. Dr. Riaño-Alcalá was always there for me and I am eternally indebted to her. Unlike Dr. Riaño-Alcalá’s focused micro-detail guidance, Dr. Yan gave broad rectification to my ideas and guided my studies from macro-viewpoints. When I would reach a bottleneck in my analysis, he always inspired me and would point out new possible directions. He carefully proofread all the transcriptions utilized in my dissertation, which were originally recorded in the Chinese language. Learning from his vast knowledge and experience of many cultures and educational systems fueled me with a variety of powerful strategies of how to explain the Chinese domestic issues to international scholars. My two supervisors deserve great thanks, not only for the brilliant assistance they provided through the course of my doctoral studies, but for being excellent models. My life has improved by knowing  xvii them and my appreciation of them is profound. I realize I would not have reached this stage without their inimitable help.  Besides my two supervisors, I would like to thank Dr. Maged Senbel, my doctoral studies committee member. From the perspective of urban design, he aided me in developing my thoughts and aided me to expand my vision. I would also like to thank the three examiners of my dissertation, Dr. Julie Drolet, Dr. Sherry McKay and Dr. Leonora Angeles for their valuable comments regarding my dissertation.   I owe a debt of gratitude to my two best friends and Master’s studies classmates in China, Professor Hou Chao Ping, who is currently the Chairman of the Architecture Program at Sichuan Agricultural University, in Dujingyan and Mr. Jing Ren Gang, who is the Vice President of the Planning Bureau in Deyang City. During my fieldwork in Sichuan Province, China from September 2012 to December 2012, they offered me office space, accommodation and many other kinds of assistance in two earthquake-hit cities, Dujiangyan and Deyang, from where I took daily trips (with some overnights) to all the worst-hit villages, towns and cities nearby. Without their kind support, I could not have successfully and smoothly finished the fieldwork.   Lastly, I would like to thank my parents for bringing me into this world and supporting me spiritually throughout my life. I offer my regards and gratitude to all those who have supported me in any respect during the course of my studies. I wish to sincerely thank you for the guidance, inspiration and encouragement that you have given me and I hope to fulfill the trust placed in me by the people I am striving to serve.  xviii Dedication      To all those who suffered and served after the Wenchuan earthquake  Sichuan, China, May 12, 2008        1 Chapter  1: Introduction   Disasters are worldwide phenomena associated with physical and psychological trauma to the affected community. Life on this earth has often been disturbed by dreadful events. Innumerable living creatures have been victims of these catastrophes.  Kolbert, 2009, p. 53  Called with love, and call it home, and put roots there and love others there; so that whenever they left this place they would sing homesick songs about it and write poems of yearning for it… and forever be returning to it or leaving it again!  Willian Goyen, 1948, p. 42    At 02:28:01 p.m. (China Standard Time) on May 12, 2008, an earthquake of a magnitude of 7.9 struck Wenchuan County, Sichuan Province, China1 (see Figure 1.1, Figure 1.2 and Figure 1.3). Two minutes after the earthquake, I received a phone call from my friend, a physician in the capital city of Chengdu, located about 80 kilometers from the epicenter. Speaking with a shaking voice and in shock from what she had just gone through, she started to ask me, because of my architectural expertise, which part of her dormitory would be the safest. Unfortunately, I could                                                 1 Sichuan Province, whose capital is the city of Chengdu, is located in the southwestern part of China (as shown in Figure 1.2 and Figure 1.3). The epicenter of the first and the biggest shock took place close to the county of Wenchuan. Hence, this earthquake was given the name Wenchuan. The earthquake-hit areas crossed Sichuan, Gansu and Shanxi provinces. Almost all the worst-hit areas were located within Sichuan Province (“Wenchuan Earthquake,” n.d.).   2 Figure 1.1 Locator map for the People’s Republic of China   Figure X. By Reton//Wikipedia, retrieved from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Maps_of_China#mediaviewer/File:LocationChina.png. Used under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license (CC BY-SA 3.0) (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en)   3 Figure 1.2 2008 Sichuan earthquake map     Figure X. By Mistman123/Wikipedia, retrieved from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:2008_Sichuan_earthquake_map.svg. In the Public Domain.   4 Figure 1.3 Map of Sichuan's regions, major cities and epicenter of earthquake, China   Figure X. The red circles show the epicenter of Wenchuan, which were added by author. Adapted from “Map of Sichuan's regions and its major cities, China”, by (WT-shared) ClausHansen, retrieved from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sichuan.png#mediaviewer/File:Sichuan.png.  Used under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en).   5 not answer her question as our call was cut off after several seconds, because the earthquake destroyed the telecom system. From the city of Shenzhen in Guangdong Province (about 2100 kilometers away from Chengdu), where I was at the time, I was not at all aware of the extent of the tragedy and, getting off the phone, joked with someone about my friend’s question, because up until that point, Chengdu rarely experienced earthquakes.  Two hours after the earthquake, all the gateway websites in China were reporting the tragedy. By then, large amounts of images from the quake-hit areas were flooding into these websites. Scenes of collapsed buildings, rising dust, blood, people crying, people dead and dying far exceeded what I could have ever imagined. I tried to contact my master’s degree supervisor, who, at that time, was at Sichuan University in Chengdu, but was not able to reach him.  Two days after the earthquake, Chinese social media was dominated by the rescue reports and the donations and assistance that were coming in. It was around this time that I found out that, both, my friend, the doctor and my supervisor were safe and had not been injured.   I spent my undergraduate and master’s study period in Chengdu and my intimacy with this place motivated me to want to get there and help out. Almost all the civil airports in and nearby the quake-hit areas had stopped their civil service and were functioning only to support the rescue operation. Fortunately, when I was able to get in touch with my master’s degree supervisor, he hurriedly said to me that my university, Sichuan University, the largest university in the region, had already sent several rescue teams to the quake-hit area, and that as an urban designer and  6 architectural scholar, he had already been assigned by the provincial government to take charge of the Provincial Post-Disaster Planning and Reconstruction Committee2.   Two weeks following the earthquake, as soon as the Chengdu international airport resumed its service to civilians, I flew to Sichuan, went to the university and was immediately assigned to and joined a rescue team. Rescue teams, doctors, nurses, food, clothes, tents, building equipment and materials were continuously being brought into the quake-hit areas from various regions of China and abroad. The most extensive post-disaster reconstruction worldwide, of the twentieth century, was being carried out (“Wenchuan earthquake,” n.d.).  Two months after the earthquake and under the guidance of my Master’s supervisor, I designed two primary schools that were to be utilized in the quake-hit area. My design included walls upon which school children could write graffiti upon, a space to express their views and deposit their memories. However, once the central government set up the reconstruction projects to be donated and carried out by other provinces, municipalities, and autonomous regions from eastern and central regions of China, my design was not utilized. Almost all these sponsoring regions used their own designers, construction supervisors and crews, and industrial materials and did not seek to hire local expertise. As the construction continued, new buildings reflecting other provinces’ architectural styles started to appear, having little or no harmony with existing buildings. I wondered about the local dwellers’ reaction towards this unfamiliar, imported environment. When I talked with some survivors after their relocation, the majority of those I                                                 2 The Provincial Post-Disaster Planning and Reconstruction Committee was comprised of provincial and local government officials, provincial scholars and other related researchers. Its decision-making responsibilities included coping with the post-disaster reconstruction related issues, especially focusing on the entire physical planning and reconstruction, as well as some issues related to local long-term development.   7 spoke with were not satisfied with their new town. But because of the fact that they paid nothing or very little towards the building of their new town, they had remained silent and did not complain too much. I guessed, at that point, the reason for their dissatisfaction was that these relocated people were not able to make successful place connections between the new environment and themselves.   Two years after the earthquake, I went back to Wenchuan again as a research assistant, supported by a joint program between the University of Washington, Seattle, United States and Sichuan University. I was astonished by what I saw: completely new villages, towns and cities that had been constructed in just two years. As part of the rapid reconstruction, urban-like buildings had sprung up in the rural areas. During the interviews I later conducted in these sites, I heard interviewees’ dissatisfaction with their new places of residence. They had been moved into urban residences where everyone was living in very close proximity. However, in their original rural settings, their homes were dispersed and located near their farmlands or orchards. After the earthquake, many villagers, especially farmers, were forced to give up farming and had to adapt to a new urban lifestyle. Furthermore, some villagers were obliged to move into urban residential districts due to the ex-situ reconstruction policy, resulting in most of them losing their only source of income from agriculture, and having to seek new means of income.  The stated purpose of post-disaster recovery and reconstruction is to aid victims a returning to normal life, in its physical, social, cultural, economic, and psychological dimensions (Tibbalds, 1984; Mileti, 1999). The human and social dimensions involved in the “environment-induced displacement” triggered by natural disaster, climate change, political development and wars have  8 caught wide attention from professionals in different fields (Drolet, Sampson, Jebaraj, & Richard, 2014). This dissertation examines the disaster reconstruction and recovery process that took place after the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake from an interdisciplinary lens that interrogates the many interrelated elements of recovery (social, physical, psychological, political and economic). Advancing a PhD in interdisciplinary studies has provided me with knowledge and skills that facilitated a dialogue between my architecture and urban design backgrounds, as well as my landscape architecture analysis skills with the work of memory studies and social work theories and methodologies. This knowledge base, combined with my own strong place attachment to Sichuan and a sense of commitment to the survivors of the earthquake, inspired me to travel between Canada and China to conduct this doctoral research and seek to make a contribution to post disaster recovery theories and strategies.   1.1 The characteristics of post-disaster reconstruction and recovery process3 Since the entire post-disaster reconstruction and recovery is a “complex”, “multidimensional” and “nonlinear” process (Johnson & Hayashi, 2012). However, the focus and main research question of this dissertation are on post-disaster reconstruction recovery. An observation for the case of the Wenchuan earthquake is that the government of China did not have a pre-disaster preparedness system in place (Smith, 1993). Hence, in order to clearly represent the chronological process of the reconstruction and recovery that took place, in this dissertation, I used Kamel and Loukaitou-Sideris’s (2004) method of dividing of the entire process into three stages: “emergency4”, “reconstruction5” and “long-term recovery6”. However, the chronological                                                 3 According to Zhao (2009), the post-disaster reconstruction and recovery that took place after the Wenchuan earthquake was China’s most complex and extensive since the founding of the People’s Republic of China.  4 The emergency phase, “starts immediately after a disaster hits” and ends “when no more  9 course of the post-disaster reconstruction and recovery cannot be clearly delineated and there is overlap among all three stages (Johnson & Hayashi, 2012).   The Chinese government invested more than 170 billion USD into the post-disaster reconstruction following the Wenchuan earthquake (Aerial view of reconstruction outcomes after Wenchuan earthquake, 2011). After comparing the post-disaster reconstruction cases from within China with those I have investigated from abroad, the Wenchuan’s post-disaster reconstruction can be characterized as a massive, government-led, short-term project (MGS).  • Massive: More than 3000 cities, towns and villages were severely damaged by the earthquake and/or strong aftershocks, leaving at least five million people homeless (“Wenchuan Earthquake,” n.d.). Thereafter, 29,704 reconstruction projects were put into operation to build more than 3000 villages, towns and/or cities in 19 districts of Sichuan Province alone (“Wenchuan Earthquake,” n.d.).                                                                                                                                                          search-and-rescue operations and evacuation operations are conducted” (Kamel & Loukaitou-Sideris, 2004, p. 534). Right after an earthquake hits, the survivors’ basic living needs, such as immediate shelter, food and fresh water, should be met. Meanwhile, during the emergency phase the survivors are in situations of tremendous danger due to 1) physical injury from such things as: after-shock, leaking, harmful chemicals and structurally unsound buildings and 2) social unrest stemming from riots, looting and robberies (Hood, Mayall, & Oliver, 1999). This phase demands that the governing body keeps secure control and order, to ensure the safety of the survivors and the aid workers.	  5 The reconstruction stage, begins from the end of the emergency stage and is completed when most of the damaged structures are either finished being completely demolished or safely rebuilt and when the assistance in reestablishing the local people’s daily life to basic survival levels has been completed (Hass, Kates, & Bowden, 1977; Schwab & American Planning Association [APA], 1988; Arnold, 1993; Kamel & Loukaitou-Sideris, 2004). 6 The long-term recovery phase, in the final period of any disaster, takes place within the “larger social and political contexts” (Kamel & Loukaitou-Sideris, 2004, p. 535). Its main aim is to reestablish pre-disaster social patterns rather than merely to provide temporary housing (Cuny, 1983; Bates & Peacock, 1989, Kamel & Loukaitou-Sideris, 2004). The long-term recovery phase should also provide an enhancement of the quality of life.  10 • Government led: Almost all the reconstruction projects were administrated by the Chinese central government. The guiding policy required that other provinces throughout China should donate the reconstruction plans, rather than utilizing plans from within Sichuan Province. As a result of this decision, almost all the donor provinces used designers from their own provinces; construction supervisors and crews that were not familiar with the region, and building materials that were not in accord with the climate requirements of the region.  • Short-term: The entire reconstruction process that began with choosing new sites for buildings through to the completion of all the newly-built projects was finished in no more than two years. Some very large projects such as the erection of residential communities containing tens of thousands of households were completed in only one year, some in even shorter periods of time.  1.2 The adaptation process to the new environment In May 2009, one year after the Wenchuan earthquake, I have spoken with more than 200 earthquake survivors about their new situation.7 Most of them had been required to make a mandatory relocation to a “modern” urban community. The interviewees I spoke with were men and women, young and old. Their new dwellings ranged from houses, to townhouses to apartments. Upon hearing the survivors complain about their new environment, my initial understanding was that they have continued to have strong emotional ties to their original home and place and that they did not feel “at home” in their new dwelling. Throughout my dissertation                                                 7 All these conversations come from previous research were done prior to my doctoral research fieldwork. Some of the conclusions of these interviews will be referred to in this dissertation. The doctoral research fieldwork will be described in detail later in this chapter and in Chapter 2.  11 research, I documented how, after the earthquake, this emotional attachment and “sense of home” influenced their lives. Meanwhile, I found that their emotional reactions (both positive and negative) to their new town were strong as well. After their relocation, some dwellers have felt profoundly at home. Most of them, however, as I will illustrate in the following chapters, have felt alienated and have struggled with how to re-establish a “sense of home” and community in their new location. The following chapters will also illustrate why and how the new-built communities failed to provide the vital “sense of home” and the effort and ways the survivors have devoted to recreate “home”, or at least, cope with their sense of up-rootedness.   People’s emotional attachments and viewpoints regarding home differ. As Marcus (1995) comments, “A home fulfills many needs: a place of self-expression, a vessel of memories, a refuge from the outside world, a cocoon where we can feel nurtured and let down our guard” (p. 4). For an urban dweller, a sense of home may be rooted in the physical place of their apartment and the neighborhood in which he/she grew up. A rural person may tie his/her sense of home to the natural environment (farmland or orchard), as well as their house and community. During my fieldwork, I inquired into the survivors’ sense of home and asked questions about, how did they relate to their surroundings in their original town? What kind of environment was the ideal choice in which to build their home? In answering, they usually spoke about or took me to their original home to provide a direct example of what an ideal home and town would be for them. The sense of home mentioned by the local residents included feelings that establish their emotional connections to their original home and place, or can roughly be described as their “sense of community” or “sense of place”, their attachment to their original environment (Marcus, 1995; Carmona, Heath, Tiesdell, & Oc, 2010). After their relocation, the creation of  12 emotional connections to their new town or place was not initially strong enough to offer them that “sense of place”. Hence most of them were not comfortable and not feel “at home”. Post-disaster reconstruction and recovery proves successful if the survivors are able to adapt and assimilate the newly build environment as their own (Oliver-Smith, 2005). This process requires, according to Oliver-Smith (2005), not sole attention to the material aspects of reconstruction but more fundamentally or at least to an equal degree, to the social aspects. In the context of this dissertation, I approach social reconstruction as a process that addresses the foundational constituents of what a society is comprised of, such as the social networks and social relationships among the residents and their environment.   Within the context of social reconstruction, the sense of place contains the initial, enduring social bonds that hold the community together (Oliver-Smith, 2005). The process of the official post-disaster reconstruction and recovery that took place in Sichuan Province primarily focused on the resolution of short-term material needs such as housing, urban infrastructure, food supply, education and health care. As I show throughout this dissertation, with the support of the viewpoints of survivors, social reconstruction received little attention. Hence, my argument is that the disregard of the social dimension of the reconstruction resulted in people’s unsuccessful attachment to their new town and place.  1.3 Sense of place, place memory and participation in post-disaster reconstruction and recovery: a conceptual framework  Based on the phenomenon of “losing the sense of home” after the post-disaster relocation and reconstruction, I ask in this dissertation: What was the “sense of home” of earthquake survivors  13 in their original hometowns? How was it established? How does the establishment of this “sense of home” relate to post-disaster reconstruction? What might contribute to the re-creation of this sense after their relocation? The development of the conceptual framework begins by first addressing these questions.   In establishing the conceptual framework, I first examine what constitutes “sense of home” and how it is established, as explained in place theory. Furthermore, since the earthquake survivors recalled their previous “sense of home” after settlement into their new location, the relationship between the “sense of home” and memory will be addressed. The relationship between the post-disaster reconstruction and recovery and the “sense of home”, as seen in the literature on disaster, will also be reviewed. Lastly, as the “sense of home” reflects the local residents’ emotional connection to their home, derived from their experienced daily activities and their use of space in their original hometown, I examine the broader concept of participation, in order to analyze how all the involved groups’ participation contributed to the recreation of the “sense of home” after disaster relocation.  1.3.1 What is a “sense of home”?  Home is a place of security within an insecure world, a place of certainty within doubt, a familiar place in a strange world, a sacred place in a profane world. It is a place of autonomy and power in an increasingly heteronomous world where others make the rules.  Dovey, 1985a, p. 46   14 Dovey (1985a) argues that home “gains in intensity and depth from the dialectical interaction between the two poles of experience - the place and its context at [on] a large scale” (p. 46). According to Dovey’s definition, the idea of home is directly related to an experience of place. The closest terminology I found in place-related research to the “sense of home” would be “sense of place”. What is the relationship between “sense of place” and “sense of home”? In other words, what is the connection between a place and a home? How do we make a place? How do we make a home?  1.3.1.1 Place making: from a space to a place Social research regarding place, space, and related themes has mostly been developed by human geographers (Lukermann, 1961; Tuan, 1974; Relph, 1976; Harvey, 1989; Massey, 1997; Cresswell, 2004). In addition to this, place and its related idea, place making, have drawn attention from across the spectrum of the human sciences, from such fields as social anthropology, landscape architecture, architecture, built environment, environmental psychology, urban planning, and urban philosophy (Lyndon, Moore, Quinn, & Ryn, 1962; Jacobs, 1962; Gauldie, 1969; Norberg-Schulz, 1969; Heidegger, 1977; Seamon, 1979; Whyte, 1980; Pred, 1984; De Certeau, 1984; Lefebvre, 1991; Kunstler, 1993; Hayden, 1995; Auge, 1995; Cooper, 1995; Feld & Basso, 1996; Gelder & Jacobs, 1998; Kenney, 2001; Escobar, 2001; Aravot, 2002; Low & Lawrence-Zuniga, 2003; Feuchtwang, 2004; Massey, 2005; Hester, 2006; Douglass & Ho, 2008; Friedmann, 2010).   Space is a physical/geographical concept. Whereas, place focuses on the human experience of physical space including the relationships built upon it. Scholars aim to understand how space  15 becomes place, as well as the beliefs people hold about place (Dardel, 1952; Camus, 1955, 1959; Heidegger, 1958; Lukermann; 1964; Tuan, 1975; Relph, 1976; Canter, 1983, 1991). The threefold components of place are: the physical setting, the activities, and the meanings (Tuan, 1977; Canter, 1986; 1991). Meanings, in this context, refer to the way individuals make sense of their physical surroundings. The material object and activities taking place there. In addition, human intention and experience are key dimensions of how a place is perceived because the relationship between human beings and place is a dynamic process (Lukermann, 1964). Place making, that is the ways in which a space is transformed into a place, is a process that takes time (Relph, 1976). The process of place making is also descriptive of the ways local inhabitants’ shape and adapt to the built, material and natural environment of cities, towns and villages (Whyte, 1980; Ross, 1982; Gehl, 1996).  1.3.1.2 Sense of place and “sense of home” The Latin phrase “genius loci”, which is widely referred to in the discussion of the sense of place, is “a notion suggesting people experience something beyond the physical or sensory properties of places and feel an attachment to a spirit of place” (Jackson, 1994, p. 157). A variety of concepts exist that are related to the concept of the sense of place, specifically, place attachment (McCann, 1941), place identity (Lynch, 1960), topophilia (Tuan, 1961), geopiety (Wright, 1966), sense of community (Sarason, 1974), community attachment (Kasarda & Janowitz, 1974), place dependence (Stokols & Shumaker, 1981), meaning of place (Eyles, 1985) and spirit of place (Swan & Swan, 1994). Among all these notions, attachment and identity stand out as the two foundational elements in the recreation of a sense of place (Relph, 1976; Carmona et al., 2010)   16 Mooney (2009, p. 2, paragraph 6) describes that place attachment and place identity are “two aspects of people’s bonding to place that are considered complimentary components.” This complementarity pertains to the ways that attachment to a special setting influences the dwellers’ place identity perception (Altman & Low, 1992). Furthermore, people’s place attachment usually starts from a small scale, usually their homes and the environment nearby, then extending to their the neighborhood communities, then expanding to their towns or cities, and even on to the even larger scale of place, such as their countries. While, people’s place identity does not have as strict a hierarchical structure as does place attachment, it can occur in direct relation to a small piece of land or to an entire city (Basso, 1997; Pretty, Chipuer, & Bramston, 2003). Generally speaking, human beings first develop an attachment to a place and then identify with that place.  Human beings have the need for attachment (roots) to a certain place. People rooted to a place means, among other things, that they are proud of their past (Tuan, 1980). The sense of place contains an individual’s biological response to the physical environment and the social relationships with the surrounding environment (Tuan, 1961; Wright, 1966; Carmona et al., 2010). Furthermore, a home provides the means to respond to basic physiological needs and is a central reference point of human existence (Marcus, 1995). The scale of home could be enlarged to the hometown or home region level, as the person’s sense of belonging and emotional attachment goes beyond their immediate home and surroundings to include a vast territory, a town or several places combined.  Human attachment to a place provides the platform for most human activity, a sense of security and identity, as well as the foundation upon which psychological and physical needs are resolved  17 (McCann, 1941; Schutz, 1962, 1967; Grene, 1965; Vycinas, 1961; Relph, 1976; Hayden, 1995; Shamsuddin & Ujang, 2008; Friedmann, 2010). Aspects of diversity, such as nationality, ethnicity, race, gender, age, geographical location and residential living time, mediate the ways individuals experience place attachment and place identity (Heise, 2008). For example, McDowell (1999) argues that the process of the establishment of the sense of place for women differs from men. According to Hall, Coffey and Williamson (1999), sense of place significantly contributes to the development of youths’ citizenship identity and supports the establishment of their social networks. The Royal Commission on Local Government in England and Wales found that people’s attachment to where they are born and their identity to places they consider as home are based on the length of time spent in that single area (Hampton, 1970).   Most rural earthquake survivors’ families in quake-hit area in Sichuan Provinces have lived on the same land for a long time, the roots of their families having been established there for several generations. The individuals not only become attached to the place where they were born and identify that place as their home, but also transmit this kind of feeling from one generation to another. Having a well-established attachment helps the individual establish self-awareness through bonding with the place called home. Marcus (1995) argues that most people who relocate, desire to live in a similar setting to the one they formerly lived in; an apartment dweller prefers to move to an apartment and a house dweller prefers to move into a house. Making this so, in the resettlement of disaster survivors, would contribute to the survivors’ sense of belonging to the new place and would develop their home identity (Pretty et al., 2003;).    18 People living in a place may develop a sense of attachment to that place and identify it as their home; in doing so, they feel a “sense of home” (Marcus, 1995). The ways that the survivors I interviewed described “home” suggested that their sense of place was tied to their original home and its surrounding. Marcus (1995) illustrates that the sense of place might be passed down from generation to generation, in the form of intergenerational memories. Survivors represented this “sense of home” as they expressed their memories regarding their original living places. Hence, the gateway into addressing the “sense of home” is memory. What relationships do memory, home and sense of home share?   1.3.2 Place and place memory  The power of place nurtures people’s individual and social memories. Hayden, 1995; Benmayor, 2011  According to Young (1995, as cited in Cole, 2001, p. 22), memory has three commonly associated meanings: “the mental ability to store and retrieve information; the emotional, semantic, or sensory content of those memories; and the location where these memories are stored”. Hence, memory of a certain place holds people’s emotional and physical connections to that place. These emotional and physical connections are in response to the accumulation of people’s thoughts about this particular special place. So, place memory is a result of people’s understanding of place over time (Lynch, 1971). Gradually, people come to understand the world around them through a process of layering memories from past to present (Connerton, 1989; Bastea, 2004). This kind of understanding of place is based on the human being’s individual and  19 social experience of the physical surroundings, which is referred as place memory (Nora, 1989; Bastea, 2004).  Memory of place is a profound human experience because being “in place” triggers individual and social memory through the senses and embodies the experience of the physical environment (Casey, 2000; Hayden, 1995; Nora, 1996). In an urban context, place memory includes “individual experience of one’s arrival in the city and emotional attachments there” (Hayden, 1995, p. 47), as well as social memory: the shared narrative frameworks of a group of people who have similar experiences and histories in a particular community and town. Memories are produced by the individual’s physical and sensory experience in relation to his/her environment (Bloomer & Moore, 1977). People continuously record their memories of a special place as they perform daily activities and interact with that place (Dardel, 1952). When people move to a new physical space, their experience of the new surroundings is mediated by the memories of previous place-making experiences and how they constructed a sense of rootedness, identity and attachment to these places.  1.3.2.1 Sense of place and memory Home and/or hometown are important sources of people’s place memory (Marcus, 1995). Dwellers describe their sense of place by articulating a mental picture comprised of several images of their dwelling and hometown that generally evokes a sort of idyllic image (Lynch, 1960). As mentioned in the last section, sense of place (home) is the result of people’s experience and understanding of their living surroundings. The sense of place combines their sense of attachment (place attachment) and their identification with that place (place identity).  20 What is then the relationship between memory and place attachment, as well as between memory and identity?  The power of place builds individual and social memories in different physical and social environments (Hayden, 1995). From an individual perspective, when there is emotional and behavioral commitment to a place, we have place attachment (Pretty, et al., 2003). On the other hand, people are “forever presenting each other with culturally mediated images of where and how they dwell” (Basso, 1997, p. 110). When the homeland and previous social network are lost, their memories often reflects people’s individual and group displaced identity in relation to their previous place and social network (Halilovich, 2011). Identity is closely linked to memory due to the fact that our individual memories (who am I? where am I?) and social memories (where do I belong? who are we?) are “organized with the histories of our families, neighbors, fellow workers, and ethnic communities” (Hayden, 1995, p. 9). Memory is an important dimension of individual and group identity (Halilovich, 2011). Place identity combines the self-in-place identity (individual identity and the communal identity that encompasses the processes of social identity creation through social memory (Bonnes & Secchiaroli, 1995).   Rubinstein and Parmelee (1992) propose that survivors’ memories of their life course might possibly help their relocation process by stimulating and encouraging people’s activity. This process in turn may create a sense of continuity and the creation of a new sense of place in the new environment. The relationship between how people’s previous sense of place affects their re-settlement and the establishment of their new “sense of home” after their relocation has not yet been well examined. Through my research, I seek to demonstrate how people’s memories of  21 their previous place experience can contribute to 1) the creation and continuation of their attachment to their new place, which would then create a new connection and ultimately a feeling of belonging to the new place; this new attachment creates a new sense of place, and 2) the establishment of an emotional relationship to their new place.   The local inhabitants’ place experience is originally created in daily life and the use of spaces. Therefore, the fundamental nature of the creation of the survivors’ sense of place in their original hometown is established in this way. Observation of the establishment of place attachment and place identity can be accomplished through the perspective of individual and social memory. The lens of memory offers a method to examine sense of place. For the earthquake survivors, their memories, as well, have the power to bring the sense of place to their new communities. After having to relocate to the new environment, the earthquake survivors found it was very difficult to attach to their new dwellings, let alone claim their new dwellings as their homes. How has the sense of place been discussed in the disaster reconstruction and recovery theoretical field?  1.3.3 How does the sense of place relate to post-disaster reconstruction and recovery?  Recovery is a complex, multidimensional, nonlinear process. It involves more than rebuilding structures and infrastructure; rather, it is about people’s lives and livelihoods. The process has no clear end point and there is not necessarily a return to what existed before.  22 Alesch, 2005 and Comerio, 2005. Cited in Johnson & Hayashi, 2012, p. 227  Over the past 40 years, most of the research on disaster recovery and recovery management has primarily focused on the disasters that happened in urban regions of the United States of America and Japan, which became the standard of disaster recovery management (Haas, Kates, & Bowden, 1977; Rubin, 1985; William Spangle and Associates, 1991; Berke, Kartez, & Wenger, 1993; Birkland, 2006; Reiss, 2012; Johnson & Hayashi, 2012). Through empirical and qualitative research regarding the above disaster cases, researchers have moved from an understanding of the disaster recovery process as “uni-dimensional, stage-oriented and linear” process, towards a more “complex, multidimensional and nonlinear” understanding (Johnson & Hayashi, 2012, p. 212). This newer approach emphasizes both physical rebuilding, as well as the rehabilitation of the victims’ lives and livelihoods (Johnson & Hayashi, 2012, p.226-227). The current definition of disaster recovery considers its complexity, “following perturbation by an extreme event, recovery is a complex and urgent process to achieve functionality of socio-ecological systems and adapt to new conditions” (Reiss, 2012, p. 121).   Recent studies underline that the various dimensions of disaster recovery include: physical8, social, cultural9, economic10, and political11. All these dimensions interweave with one another to                                                 8 See Schwab & American Planning Association [APA], 1988; Drabek, 1990; Kamel & Loukaitou-Sideris, 2004, for further exploration of the physical dimensions of post-disaster reconstruction and recovery.  9 See Bolin, 2007; Hoffman & Oliver-Smith, 2002; Tierney & Oliver-Smith, 2012; Johnson & Hayashi, 2012, for further discussion on the social and cultural dimensions of post-disaster reconstruction and recovery. 10 See Friesema, Caporaso, Goldstein, Lineberry, & McCleary, 1979; Gordon, Richardson, & Davis, 1996; Dahlhamer & Tierney, 1998; Mileti, 1999; Ohnishi, 2005; Chang, 2001; Nagamatsu, 2007; Tamura, 2007; Tatsuki, 2007; Olshansky & Johnson, 2010, for further exploration of the economic dimensions of post-disaster reconstruction and recovery.  23 influence the recovery outcomes (Hoffman & Oliver-Smith, 2002). For instance, physical recovery, whose aim is to repair, construct and reconstruct all the buildings and infrastructural systems damaged and destroyed in the disaster, is the foundation of the entire recovery. The quality of the physical reconstruction will be dramatically influenced by economic and political recovery, as well as the inclusion of cultural and other social dimensions. While, these social dimensions mentioned above, as the “fundamental elements of society, which make human development possible”, however, “are often the first to be hit in a recession” (Drolet, 2014, p. 8).   1.3.3.1 Physical and social reconstruction affect sense of place There appears to be an agreement in the literature that physical reconstruction and social reconstruction are two of the most critical aspects of post-disaster reconstruction and recovery (Bolin, 1976; Haas, Kates, & Bowden, 1977; Bolin & Trainer, 1978; Bolin, 1982, Drabek & Key, 1984; Oliver-Smith, 1986; Bates & Peacock, 1993). Accordingly, the Natural Hazards Center (2005) at the University of Colorado (U.S.A), proposes that disaster recovery decision-making should hold as its goal: to “maintain and enhance the quality of life” from physical and social standpoints (p. 9). The first two reconstruction models of “life recovery” that were produced after the Kobe Earthquake (1995, Japan) were the “physical provision of housing” and the “restoration of social networks” (Tatsuki, 2007). From these two examples, it could be generalized that physical and social reconstruction are the two primary post-disaster issues.   Natural hazards impact not only the physical and social security of the community but also the peoples’ sense of trust in the community’s cultural and social network (Oliver-Smith, 2005).                                                                                                                                                        11 See Goggin, Bowman, Lester, & O’Toole, 1990; Spangle Associates, 1994; Comerio, 1995; Birkland, 2006; Smith & Birkland, 2012, for further exploration of the political dimensions of post-disaster reconstruction and recovery.  24 Physical reconstruction is defined as the constructed material aspects of reconstructing the material world, such as urban infrastructure and housing. Social reconstruction focuses on recreating the social worlds of people, including aspects such as social networks, work relations and social relations, which would help the affected population to work and live in their new environment (“Social Reconstruction,” n.d.). This brings us to the next question: how should the combined effect of the physical and social reconstruction affect people’s sense of place?   Physical reconstruction provides the “nuts and bolts” of making a new place. Meanwhile, physical reconstruction also influences the affected population’s non-material requirements of place identity and place attachment (Carmona et al., 2010). The reestablishment of city landmarks, for example, may assist in the creation of the dwellers’ sense of “continuity and place, connectedness and reassurance”, a new set of physical and symbolic referents for the development of place identity (Alesch & Siemieda, 2012, p. 209). Some scholars claim that disasters profoundly impact people’s emotional connection to their original home place (Picou, Gill, Dyer, & Curry, 1992; Freudenburg, 1997; Button 2010; Tierney & Oliver-Smith, 2012). Indeed, some disasters force the local dwellers to a permanent abandonment of their hometown, such as after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster (1986), the Indian Ocean Tsunami (2004) and the Fukushima nuclear disaster (2013). Either way, the physical reconstruction has an impact on the survivors’ sense of place.   Processes of resettlement after disaster may threaten existing social networks that supported the sense of community among survivors (Hoffman, 1999), especially causing “the loss of personal and group identity, community cohesion, and cultural heritage” (Tierney & Oliver-Smith, 2012,  25 p. 136). These elements of identity, cohesion and heritage are the things that the local residents had (place attachment, place identify and livelihoods) in their original hometowns and that may not be initially found in their new surroundings (Tierney & Oliver-Smith, 2012, p. 136). According to Tierney and Oliver-Smith (2012, p. 136), “disaster victims can mourn the loss of treasured landscapes and buildings just as they mourn the loss of loved ones”. Therefore, social reconstruction should bridge the construction of physical elements with the recovery of non-material elements, of the cultural, economic, and political realms (Hoffman & Oliver-Smith, 2002).  A key element to consider in this discussion is how social vulnerability in its relation to gender, racial and ethnic inequality (which are critical issues of social reconstruction) may be further entrenched by physical reconstruction practices and overall post disaster recovery policies and decisions (Blaikie, Cannon, Davis, & Wisner, 2004). Physical reconstruction practices directly affect certain vulnerable populations’ establishment of their sense of place. According to Cannon (1994), during the long-term post-disaster recovery, certain discriminatory practices affected how much assistance vulnerable people would get from the government, so that the basic reconstruction process for these groups was significantly delayed as compared to that of the majority (Cannon, 1994). Hence, Fothergill, Maestas, & Darlington (1999) suggest that the government should give special attention to vulnerable people and support targeted physical and social reconstruction in order to improve and speed their social recovery. Ingram, Franco, Rio and Khazai (2006) demonstrate that in the 2004 Tsunami, the post-disaster recovery policy failed to consider the situation of social vulnerability of some of the survivors (poor people, women  26 and children) in Sri Lanka. This resulted in the noticeable postponement of their emotional recovery after the disaster (Ingram et al., 2006).  Early literature (until 1970) studied the establishment of the sense of place as affected by physical and social reconstruction, each as a separate phenomenon (Oliver-Smith, 2009). More recent research has been focusing on questions of place and identity by considering several dimensions of post-disaster reconstruction. Although, this recent research clarified the impact of disaster on the individual’s sense of place, it did not touch upon how the process of reconstruction could tackle some social dimensions of the reconstruction of the sense of place. Thus, my research addresses this gap and seeks to make a contribution to the existing literature by approaching the social dimensions of physical reconstruction.  1.3.3.2 Physical reconstruction should correspond with social reconstruction Tierney and Oliver-Smith (2012) argue that social reconstruction inextricably links “the recovery of structures and infrastructural elements, ecosystems, organizations and institutions, economic activity, and culture, making recovery a truly holistic process” (p. 124), through a broad range of interventions that work together at the individual, neighborhood, community and provincial levels (Hoffman & Oliver-Smith, 2002; Olshansky, 2005; National Research Council, 2006; Smith & Wenger, 2006; Ritchie, 2010). In this multilayered interventional strategy, physical and social reconstruction should ideally correspond with each other in a seamlessly reciprocal manner. In summary, “physical reconstruction should support and express social reconstruction” (Oliver-Smith, 2005, p. 51) and social reconstruction should improve physical reconstitution.   27 The continuing problem, in certain post-disaster reconstruction scenarios, has been that the physical portion of the reconstruction has developed quicker than the social renewal (Kamel & Loukaitou-Sideris, 2004; Oliver-Smith, 2005). This was clearly evidenced in the post-disaster reconstruction process that took place after the Wenchuan earthquake. Specifically, during the emergency and short-term reconstruction stages that were devoted to physical reconstruction, the social interventions that were offered to help earthquake survivors cope with their trauma, let alone with setting up their new lives, were extremely limited.   As for the MGS post-disaster reconstruction, that took place after the Wenchuan earthquake, physical reconstruction developed much faster than the social reconstruction. The disaster survivors were relocated into their new settings without having enough social reconstruction in place to link them with their new environment. Thus, they were not initially able to attach to the new surroundings. My theoretical and practical focus will rest on how the social dimension could advance the entire scope of post disaster physical reconstruction.  In brief, after the Wenchuan earthquake, the disregard of the social dimension of the physical reconstruction resulted in the failure of the creation of a sense of place among the new inhabitants of the newly-built communities, villages and towns. This main argument of this dissertation will be developed, supported and discussed in the following chapters. To proceed from here, since the physical and social reconstruction did involve various groups’ participation, the next part will focus on how these involved groups’ participation promoted social reconstruction.   28 1.3.4 Group and citizen participation and the establishment of a “sense of home”  Citizen participation is citizen power. Arnsetein, 1969, p. 127   As mentioned earlier, space and people’s activities are two factors that contribute to the establishment of the sense of place (Relph, 1976). This section focuses on the second factor: people’s activities. It provides the main conceptual ideas about the nature, extent and forms of participation of an affected population in post-disaster reconstruction, and how and to what extent, if at all, in post-quake Wenchuan, the survivors’ participation impacted the ultimate decision-making. By examining the relationships between the local residents and other non-governmental groups, as well as between the local residents and all levels of government, in post-disaster reconstruction and recovery, this dissertation will also discuss how these various involved groups’ participation influenced the social reconstruction.   1.3.4.1 Involved groups in the post-disaster reconstruction and recovery process Post-disaster reconstruction and recovery is a multi-participatory endeavor that involves many different types of related groups (Hoffman & Oliver-Smith, 2002). Dimensions of gender and age differences in post-disaster reconstruction have been well examined (Wisner & Luce, 1993; Mitchell, Haynes, Hall, Choong, & Oven, 2008; Enarson & Chakrabarti, 2009; Enarson, Fothergill, & Peek, 2007). According to Sálvano Briceño, the director of the Secretariat of the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR), women face much greater risk of suffering from disaster than men do, because of gender inequalities (cited in  29 Enarson & Chakrabarti, 2009). These authors argue that discrimination against women “does not only accentuate women’s vulnerabilities during disaster”, but also “wastes women’s potential as sources of resilience” (cited in Enarson & Chakrabarti, 2009, p. xii). Meanwhile, according to Blaikie, Cannon, Davis and Wisner (2004), different age groups’ (based on their experience) make distinct contributions to post-disaster reconstruction. Akeyo (2010) argues that little attention has been placed to young people in post-disaster reconstruction and how their involvement could dramatically improve their healing process after disaster. However, who should be involved and who should take charge of the disaster recovery has not been made decisively clear in the post-disaster academic literature (see, for example, Berke, Kartez, & Wenger, 1993; Oliver‐Smith, 1991; Davidson, Johnson, Lizarralde, Dikmen, & Sliwinski, 2007; Hayles, 2010; Reiss, 2012). Smith & Birkland (2012), give a comprehensive classification of seven different “stakeholder groups” which are involved in the disaster recovery process:   1. Public sector organizations (federal, state, and local governments) 2. Quasi-governmental and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) (community development corporations, homeowners’ associations, special service districts, regional planning organizations, professional associations, and colleges and universities)  3. Nonprofit relief organizations (nonprofits, community-based organizations, and foundations)  4. Private sector organizations (businesses and corporations, financial and lending institutions, insurance, and media)  5. International relief organizations and nations 6. Emergency groups (local rescue teams)  30   7. Local residents (Smith & Birkland, 2012, p.148)   Differently involved groups contribute in different ways to post-disaster reconstruction and recovery (Tierney & Oliver-Smith, 2012). According to Drolet (2014), a disaster offers an opportunity to strengthen community and individual resilience and the means to achieve this goal is to have a full participatory approach that seeks the engagement of the affected population (as cited in Allford, 2014). The structural characteristics of the Chinese political system determined that the entire post-disaster reconstruction and recovery process after the Wenchuan earthquake was to be primarily controlled by the central government and secondarily by the lower levels of government. Accordingly, the two main groups that were involved in the reconstruction process, after the Wenchuan earthquake were: 1) the governmental group, consisting of all levels (central, provincial and local) of governmental officials, and those who were directly employed by the government, 2) non-governmental groups, including NGOs, local residents and unaffiliated individual volunteers. According to Tierney and Oliver-Smith, (2012), all of these groups, especially the affected population, should provide input in the drafting of the government’s plan and decision-making process.  From as early as the 1990s, literature on disaster recovery has argued that the top-down type of policies made for disaster recovery tend to neglect the unique local conditions (social and physical) and to not pay enough attention to the local residents’ needs. As a consequence, the top-down type of disaster recovery is often not successful (Goggin, Bowman, Lester, & O’Toole, 1990). Sanoff (2000, p. 7) argues that the executive administrative organizations should integrate “top-down traditional approaches with bottom-up, resident-driven initiatives to create a network  31 of partnerships between residents, management, and community organizations”. The first and foremost principle in the reconstruction process should be that it “involves residents in setting goals and strategies” (Naparstek, Dooley, & Smith, 1997, cited in Sanoff, 2000, p. 7).   Contrarily, the Chinese central government guided and administrated the entire reconstruction and recovery process by releasing general policy, coordinating all the related departments in the central government and other levels of government, supervising the construction process and inspecting the final outcomes (Chen, 2009). Therefore, non-resident-nongovernmental groups taking part in regarding the post-disaster reconstruction and recovery had limited autonomy to operate and this limited significantly their participation in the reconstruction process. Did the central and lower level governments concentrate on and involve the other stakeholder groups, especially the local residents’ in the post-disaster reconstruction and recovery?   1.3.4.2 Significance of citizen participation  The guiding principle of involving local dwellers in the designing, planning and construction of their own community environment has been extensively discussed by the contemporary community design movement (see, for example, Arnstein, 1969; Castells, 1983; Midgley, 1986; Albrecht, 1988; Curry, 1998; Hamdi & Goethert, 1997; Naparstek, Dooley, & Smith, 1997, Sanoff, 2000). Local residents’ participation was first seen as an issue of importance in the social and community development fields (Worsley, 1967; Midgley, 1986) and then expanded, as a matter of concern, throughout a number of other disciplines, professionals and institutional stakeholders, such as government officials, decision makers, planners, architects and landscape architects (Wulz, 1986). Arnstein (1969, p. 216) approaches local dwellers’ participation as a  32 form of “citizen power”, throughout three government-oriented social programs: urban renewal, antipoverty and model cities, which ensures that the citizens are able to “induce significant social reform which enables them to share in the benefits of the affluent society”.  Since the post-disaster reconstruction and recovery involves all three of the government-oriented social programs mentioned above, Hoffman & Oliver-Smith (2002) argue that involving the affected populations is the first step in addressing social recovery after disaster. The Natural Hazards Center at the University of Colorado (U.S.A.) proposes that those involved should “use a consensus-building, participatory process when making decisions”, as the most important principle of all recovery decision-making (Natural Hazards Center, 2005, p. 9). Burns (1979) maintains that the four stages of the local residents’ participation in the government’s decision-making process are: awareness, perception, decision-making and implementation. This participation stimulates the local dwellers’ role in the community building and offers, if utilized, useful information from that sector that can be used by the professional planners and designers to improve their professional decisions. Since the professional decisions have historically prevailed over the residents’ non-professional experience (Midgley, 1986; Sanoff, 2000), design and/or planning tasks should be done with as much transparency as possible, so to allow all individuals and interest groups to be able to make their contributions and improve the final design/planning results. How can the local individuals contribute to the construction of their dwellings?  1.3.4.3 Methods of citizen participation Arnsetein (1969) articulates that there are eight rungs on the ladder of citizens’ participation, from bottom to top they are “manipulation, therapy, informing, consultation, placation,  33 partnership, delegated power and citizen control” (p. 217). Among all these eight rungs, only the last three reflect a measure of the “degree of citizen power” and real participation. The preceding five rungs pave the way toward the citizen participation but are actually non-participatory (including manipulation and therapy) or “decision makers’ tokenism” (including informing, consultation and placation) (Arnsetein, 1969, p. 217).   Deshler and Sock (1985) subdivide this kind of participation into two categories: 1) pseudo-participation, which means that local residents do not participate, but rather are only shown what the professional designer planned for them and 2) genuine participation, which is defined as the local residents’ opinions being entered into the design process and contributing to the design action. Their wishes and know-how are shared with all participants of the reconstruction. In this way, the local participants can have face-to-face interaction with designers, and mutual trust and exchange can be developed among all participants, enabling the work to proceed in the most efficient and cooperative fashion (cited in Sanoff, 2000).  Hence, it is worth mentioning here that, even with the peoples’ state of “non-participation”/ “pseudo-participation”, or any existing governmental “tokenism”, the citizens might still be able to make some form of contribution to the social recovery. The outstanding point here is that the local individuals should “genuinely participate” and be empowered enough to join in “information exchange, resolving conflicts, and supplementing design and planning” in the construction of their own dwellings (Sanoff, 2000, p. 8). As victims of the disaster and the final beneficiaries of the reconstruction, the local residents’ participation should be a positive influence on the post-disaster reconstruction and recovery process from the first decisions to be  34 made to the final outcome. My dissertation will examine how, and to what extent the local residents’ participation contributed to the social reconstruction in the process of post-disaster reconstruction and recovery, under the strict control of the Chinese political system.  In summary, from the commencement of the local residents’ memories of their “sense of home” formulated in their original home and place, this conceptual framework examines first, the “sense of home” from the perspective of the place theoretical field, as the type of sense of place involving these people’s original home and place, then the relationship between their sense of place and their memories is examined by addressing the sense of place through the memory lens. Furthermore, due to the fact that the physical space and the residents’ activities in it are the two main players that contribute to the creation of their sense of place, this conceptual framework turns to analyze the relationships between the sense of place and the physical and social reconstruction in the post-disaster reconstruction and recovery, as well as the sense of place in relation to the various involved groups’ participation. Since the post-disaster reconstruction and recovery is a “complex”, “multidimensional”, “nonlinear” process (Johnson & Hayashi, 2012), this dissertation argues that disregarding most, or a good portion of the social dimension in the physical reconstruction led to the local residents’ inability to attach to their newly built environment. Hence, this dissertation will assess how various involved groups’ participation (or the lack thereof) contributed to the establishment of the survivors’ “sense of home”.  1.4 Research questions  During my earlier examination of post-disaster reconstruction stories told by survivors of the Wenchuan earthquake, I noticed that memories of their everyday lives and their use of spaces in  35 their original home and place seemed to provide them with certain means to support the social reconstruction process after their relocation, and especially assisted them to attach to their new dwelling and redevelop a sense of place there. Furthermore, post-disaster reconstruction and recovery is a multi-participatory process that includes all levels of the Chinese government, NGOs, volunteers (domestic and international) and other related groups, such as the military, state-owned factories and private enterprises. These various stakeholders or players’ participation, as well, influenced the local residents’ social reconstruction process. To further advance these ideas, I decided to examine in what ways the various stakeholders and others who were involved in the earthquake recovery process were related to the earthquake survivors and how they influenced the social reconstruction process. My aim is to contribute toward the development of a framework that foregrounds the social dimension. This framework should be apparent in every stage of the recovery and reconstruction process, including that of the physical reconstruction (see Figure 1.4)12.                                                    12 Establishment of the sense of home belongs to the realm of place making, which requires the balance between physical and social reconstruction. Hence, this place-making issue is positioned in the overlap between the physical and social reconstruction.  36 Figure 1.4 Theoretical contributions: post-disaster reconstruction and recovery                       “Sense of Home” (Sense of Place)      Hence, this dissertation plans to answer the following questions: How did the earthquake survivors’ memories of daily life and use of spaces in their original hometown influence the recreation of a sense of place after their relocation?  Sub-question 1: In the context of the dramatic physical changes which occurred in a short period of time attributed to the swift reconstruction, how did the earthquake survivors’ memories of daily life and use of spaces in their original hometown influence the reconstruction of their social worlds and lives?   37 Sub-question 2: How did the non-governmental participation (local residents, NGOs and volunteers) that took place during the entire post-disaster reconstruction affect the local residents’ in the reconstruction of their social worlds and lives?  Sub-question 3: How did governmental organizations’ interventions that took place throughout the entire post-disaster reconstruction impact the local residents’ in the reconstruction of their social worlds and lives?   1.5 Outline As mentioned at the beginning of this chapter, my own memories (pre- and post- earthquake) of the earthquake-hit areas drove me to resume my research. These memories provides me with a fresh vision enabling me to examine the post-disaster reconstruction outcomes, as well as these results’ effects and influences on the social changes, which the earthquake survivors subsequently went through, in their efforts to establish their new lives. The rest of the chapters of this dissertation present this research methodology and these research findings.  Chapter 2 introduces the methodological framework that supported my research. The beginning of this chapter explains the connections between a phenomenologically oriented exploration and my post-disaster reconstruction research question, which is about the study of memory. The chapter explains how the methodological approach may help encompass the entire process and final results of post-disaster reconstruction after the Wenchuan earthquake and also introduces what criteria was used to select research locations and to recruit research participants. Three specific research methods, archival and documental research, memory workshops and  38 walk-along interviews are discussed, followed by an explanation of their application during my time in the field. In the group sessions (memory workshops) and individual activities (walk-along interviews) the research methodology incorporated the survivors’ verbal and visual art forms, in order to comprehensively address the earthquake survivors’ memories of the experiences of their dwellings before and after the earthquake. The chapter explains how different data obtained from different research methods informed each other and the ways in which the data analysis was conducted. The chapter also explains how my own subjectivity and social location as a researcher was involved in the research process and how the issues of trustworthiness and credibility are addressed in the dissertation.   Chapter 3 offers a contextual analysis of the Chinese economic, social and cultural backgrounds and compares the Wenchuan earthquake to post-disaster reconstruction cases worldwide. This particular post-disaster reconstruction’s unique character, challenges and limitations, I argue, were the grounds for the ultimate result to be unsuccessful.   Chapter 4, Chapter 5 and Chapter 6 present the main findings of the research. These chapters examine the process and outcomes of the Wenchuan post-disaster reconstruction through the following three perspectives: 1) the ways local residents’ previous memories regarding their original hometown influenced their relocation and the reconstruction of their social worlds and lives (vertical analysis), 2) the non-governmental participation (local residents and volunteers) that took place throughout the entire post-disaster reconstruction, 3) the government interventions overseeing and facilitating the entire post-disaster reconstruction. Each sub-question will be addressed in its own chapter.   39 Focusing on the workshops and walk-along interviews that took place in the field, Chapter 4 uses the method of storytelling to examine memory’s function in the earthquake survivors’ relocation process. I describe, in this chapter, how memory informed of what the survivors during each of the phases of recovery. During the emergency phase, the earthquake survivors’ memories of past disasters reminded them of how they responded to and survived disasters in the past. In the reconstruction phase, survivors’ memories of their original town helped them to transform the new community. During the long-term recovery stage, I explore how feelings of homesickness and uprootedness in the new community influenced the decision of some of them to return to their original home location.    After the discussion about the roles memory played in the earthquake survivors’ relocation process, Chapter 5 analyzes different types of local residents’ participation (retrospectively) in the construction of their original hometown, and also discusses the local residents’ and the volunteers’ informal participation in the post-disaster reconstruction. This chapter centers on how the local residents’ and non-local volunteers’ informal participation in the entire post- disaster reconstruction contributed to post-disaster social reconstruction.   Chapter 6 presents the governmental involvement during the entire post-disaster reconstruction. After the Wenchuan earthquake, the Chinese central government’s swift response promoted a speedy accomplishment of the entire physical reconstruction. Indeed, not enough attention was paid to the social reconstruction. Although the central government did include, in their policies, social aspects of post-disaster reconstruction and recovery, as time went by the social issues were disregarded and not implemented. Hence, by examining and evaluating the government  40 intervention, this chapter will decipher how the social aspect was insufficiently addressed and well nigh ignored during the reconstruction and recovery process.  In conclusion, Chapter 7 summarizes the main findings stemming from this research concerning post-disaster reconstruction. This chapter discusses the possibility of using these findings to advance post-disaster physical reconstruction by improving upon the application of the social dimensions of reconstruction. Finally, this chapter offers some suggestions regarding the physical and social aspects of the post-disaster reconstruction by addressing local resident’ input.  41 Chapter  2:  Research Methodology and Research Field Sites   Choosing a past helps us to construct a future.  Lynch, 1972, p. 64   As mentioned in Chapter 1, two weeks after the Wenchuan earthquake of May 12, 2012, I was lucky enough to be selected by Sichuan University (where I received my bachelor’s and master’s degrees) to serve on a design team that was to contribute to the post-disaster reconstruction. My participation in this project stimulated questions that informed my later research work and dissertation on the reestablishment of the survivors’ “sense of home” during their relocation. The “sense of home” also made a strong impression on me throughout my personal journey and in better equipping me to make my own contribution towards the Wenchuan earthquake reconstruction and recovery. This chapter describes the overall methodological strategy I applied in addressing my research questions and provides a detailed explanation of my research design, the field sites where I conducted my research and the participants in the research.   2.1 A qualitative research study on place, memory and reconstruction During the first six months after the earthquake, I visited almost all of the worst-hit towns, villages and cities located in the area where the earthquake struck. Witnessing death and physical trauma, as well as the unrecognizable landscapes, collapsed buildings, paralyzed infrastructure and the grief, fear, worry and hopelessness of the survivors, put me in a state of depression. Before the disaster, as a student of architecture and urban design, I had gone on several field trips  42 to visit the same areas. I also had previously conducted some research in these areas regarding local architectural history and local inhabitants’ traditional construction experience. All the attractive natural landscapes and magnificent human-made structures had been deeply branded on my heart. After the quake, every time I returned to this area, the unrecognizable scenes of destruction that went as far as the eye could see were in conflict with my previous memories.   I did not experience the earthquake itself; I did not witness the sudden collapse of my home or hometown; I did not suffer the loss of relatives, neighbors, friends; I did not have to move into the newly-built communities and have the feeling of missing my home. I was just a traveler, a witness, but I vividly felt empathy for survivors’ suffering as I communicated with them. The earthquake stopped any possible future for them in their original surroundings. As my research will reveal, after their relocation, they could not feel the “sense of home” in the new communities, villages, or towns that they were relocated to. This is a common phenomenon suffered by most earthquake survivors following their relocation (see Chapter 1).   One of the purposes of this research is to understand earthquake victims’ place-making experience regarding the creation of the sense of home in their day-to-day lives, which took place in their original hometown. The assumption is that these experiences could possibly positively influence and contribute towards the reconstruction process of their new village/town/city and eliminate or lessen the phenomenon of the lack of the sense of home that occurred after their relocation.    43 People’s recollections and narratives about past events and memories have been regularly used as the basis of various methodological approaches in the social science disciplines (Halbwachs, 1980; Sarbin, 1983; Riaño-Alcalá, 2000). In the built environment field, especially in the design realms, such as urban design, urban planning, architecture and landscape architecture, memory has been somewhat, occasionally and passively involved in the design process (Byrne, 1979; Higginbottom, 2000). It is commonly accepted that our living place is a container, which embraces a myriad of different spheres. Memory of place-making experience is the result of the dwellers’ experience regarding their interaction with their home, neighborhood, community, extending to the entire town or city (Wheeler & Whiteley, 1992).   Through the lens of memory, I return to the inception of the original hometowns’ creation to address the local inhabitants’ original place-making experience in order to decipher the relationship between the local residents’ original way of using space and their attachment to their home. I observed and learned from the lens of memory, how their original place-making experience contributed toward the establishment of their sense of home in their new post-disaster settlement.    2.2 The research methods and instruments  I used the perspective of memory in my research (the earthquake survivors’ individual and social memories of daily life and their use of spaces) to explore how the earthquake victims created their original sense of home, as they lived their day-to-day lives in their original hometown. This understanding was utilized to elucidate on the phenomenon of their lack of the sense of home following their relocation. As memories have invisible, as well as visible dimensions, in order to  44 examine both of these dimensions, I conducted a qualitative study and fieldwork (using mainly observation, workshops and walk-along interviews) that was informed by a phenomenological approach, to address the earthquake survivors’ general memories of daily life and specific memories of how they used space in their original hometown. The invisible aspect was gained through the survivors’ own expression in verbal narratives, social events and from material traces (things such as handicraft, farmer’s tools and legal documents). I used archival and documentary research to uncover visible memory in some of the towns and/or villages from the pre-disaster phase to the post-disaster phase.   The roles that these memories may play in their new town are examined by the use of multiple methods as following: 1) archival and documentary research13 that included an analysis of town maps, graphics, images and literature, as well as documents, 2) memory workshops involving group activities and interaction among participants and observer (researcher), and 3) walk-along interviews, where the observer and one interviewee engaged in a one-on-one session/conversation.   In the social science field, participant observation and audio transcripts offer researchers data sources, from which, they may decipher meanings and analyze deep, subtle connections between people, as well as between people and the environment. I worked to combine the image and audio analysis, with what was gleaned from participant observation and applied these analyses                                                 13 I have found from the fields of architecture, urban planning and urban design, (my backgrounds from my undergraduate and master studies) that the graphic method is one of the most common and efficient tools. Two-dimensional graphics and three-dimensional images assist designers to understand space composition and enable the designers to visualize their clients’ idea. Designers use three-dimensional images to transmit their thoughts and talents to their prospective clients. Graphics, photos and drawings are designer’s tools and data.   45 throughout the process of data collection. By utilizing the last two methods (graphic and audio analyses) this research will examine the earthquake survivors’ invisible memories of daily life and the use of the spaces that they experienced in their original town, and then observe what role these memories played in their new town.   2.2.1 Archival research: tracing the old town/village and comparing them with the new towns/villages  Physical markers of memory, identity and place, such as architectural heritage sites and public plazas, are living documents of dwellers’ sense of place (Riaño-Alcalá & Baines, 2011). In my archival research, I searched for urban morphological documents (maps), urban planning drawings and old urban photos from local and provincial community archives to study the changes, over time, of the physical form of the towns (Figure 2.1). There was also focus on patterns and processes of growth and change, before and after the earthquake. Furthermore, I examined related government material, such as policy and regulation documents, that provided the political, social and economic backgrounds as a backdrop against which to analyze the reconstruction.   Prior to conducting a memory workshop or a walk-along interview in a selected setting, I traced and compared the changes in and development of, over the course of time, the old towns/villages, and to some extent, in the new towns/villages as well. This included a content analysis and comparative content analysis over a period of 30 years of: land use, building structure, plot pattern, street/road network pattern and landscape pattern. These data equipped me with a comprehensive understanding of the changes of the selected settings before and after the  46 earthquake, as well as giving some neutral perspectives when I examined the various standpoints.  Figure 2.1 Sample of the tracing of the physical development of a town: the development of the City of Deyang from 1983 to 2008 (master plan of Deyang, 1983-2008)   (By Planning Bureau, the City of Deyang, Sichuan China. Used under permission)  2.2.2 Memory workshop The memory workshop14 (see Figure 2.2) was designed to examine how the earthquake survivors’ place-making activities related to the establishment of their sense of home in their original place. This relationship was based on the following premises: 1) Place making becomes “a form of narrative art, a type of historical theater in which the ‘past-ness’ of the past is summarily stripped away and long-elapsed events are made to unfold as if before one’s eyes” (Basso, 1997, p. 33). 2) Each place has its stories. All these stories establish meaningful relationships between individuals and physical space and “promote beneficial changes in                                                 14 My doctoral research supervisor, Dr. Riaño-Alcalá first created this method in her doctoral dissertation, in 2000. The memory workshop, as a research strategy, gathers a group of participates to “interact and engage in remembering through the use of verbal and visual art forms” (Riaño-Alcalá, 2000, p. 30). Mine included several activities with groups of participants, lasting from an hour to two hours.   47 people’s attitudes toward their responsibilities as members of a moral community” (Basso, 1997, p. 33).   Figure 2.2 Sample of two memory workshops (photographs taken by Chaoping Hou, used under permission)      48 Group and interactive methodologies, such as the workshop, are common approaches in the genre of professional design work and are also employed in the design of educational processes (Riaño-Alcalá, 2000; Anderson & Bevan, 2010; Rabinowitz, 2012). The memory workshop builds a platform, on which the researcher, as a participant observer, can explore what the place-making experiences were that were shared by the local people. Applying these methods (the story-telling interview, memory maps, role-playing presentation and, the important but subtle, observation of interactive sensorial and emotional exchange) in the workshops, I conducted in the quake-hit areas, enabled me to explore the earthquake survivors’ original place-making experience in their original home and place. During the memory workshops, I displayed some images of the old and new towns/villages to the participants, with the aim of providing some physical associations, where local dwellers’ memories of place-making practice in the old town could be recalled more directly. My assumption was that the physical referent (from the old and new towns) could make it easier and allow for a deeper look and comparison when the residents discussed the advantages and disadvantages of the new town.   As a key component of my research methodology, the audio-taped memory workshop aimed to discover and observe the inhabitants’ memories of their daily lives and use of spaces in their original hometown, by such asking questions as, “How did you become familiar with and settle into your hometown?” The workshop consisted of a number of interactive group activities. Each participant was requested to share his/her own story. At the beginning of the workshops, I encouraged the participants to narrate their stories of their experience in their original and new dwelling. Stimulated by others’ stories, it became easier for participants to share in telling their  49 own stories. Some participants also corrected the others’ mistakes, as well as filled in where others’ lacked the information.  Rabinowitz (2012) suggests that a group containing six to 15 people is the ideal number of participants for a workshop. In a group of more than 15 people, meaningful interaction among the participants is challenging. A mini-workshop with three to six people, however, is also advised by some researchers because with the smaller group, in-depth discussion could be easily conducted (Groups Plus, 2008).  Generally, I brought together four to eight local people in my workshops15 (samples are shown in Figure 2.2) because: 1) my workshop contained individual presentations and drawings, so the small group provided every participant enough time to focus on his/her own work. 2) A small number of people working on a group map is easier to coordinate. 3) With a small group, the walk-along interview can be easily conducted and finished in a short period of time. The observing researcher could focus directly on each individual’s participation. The questions that were asked during the workshop are shown in Appendix A. The methods that were applied during the memory workshop are as follows:  2.2.2.1 Story-telling group activity The story-telling activity provided a unique way of hearing local inhabitants’ narratives of daily life and their use of spaces in their original hometown. Connerton (1989, p. 36) argues that storytelling is a means of making social meaning because, “we all come to know each other by                                                 15 Among all the workshops I conducted, there were four workshops for local residents (earthquake survivors), whose participants numbered more than eight, and two workshops for governmental officials whose participants were three in number (see Table 2.1 and Table 2.2).   50 asking for accounts, by giving accounts, and by believing or disbelieving stories about each other’s pasts and identities”. Actually, individual and social memories rely on storytelling and remembering the landscape, which is helpful to spark people’s recollection of daily life and the use of spaces. The story-telling group activity of my research explored places of significance to the group, and this, in turn, became a reflection of group social memories.   Prior to this group activity, I asked participants to bring their family photo album (Figure 2.3), any old construction and/or farming tools, any available traditional handicrafts (Figure 2.4), drawings (Figure 2.5), photographs (Figure 2.6) and any other items they considered significant (Figure 2.7), in order to evoke the interviewees’ memories of their previous and present lives and use of spaces. During the interview, I encouraged the participants to tell stories about what they brought, which assisted them to recall their memories.   Figure 2.3 Sample of a family photo album (photograph taken by author)    51 Figure 2.4 Sample of a traditional handicraft: embroidery made by a member of the Qiang16 ethnic group (photograph taken by author)   Figure 2.5 Sample of a child’s drawing of their original hometown brough by one parent (photograph taken by Chaoping Hou, used under permission)                                                  16 The Qiang people are one of the 56 ethnic groups of China. The Min River Valley region, located in the north of Sichuan Province, which was worst-hit by the earthquake, is their main living place (“Qiang people,” n.d.)  52 Figure 2.6 A will wall17 (photograph taken by Ning Zhou, used under permission)     Figure 2.7 Sample of an individual property ownership certificate, issued by the Government of Aba Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province, China 1956 (photograph taken by author)                                                  17 A local elementary teacher brough several photos showing a “Will Wall” that was built in his elementary school. The schoolchildren wrote down their hopes and desires regarding their new school on the wall before the reconstruction of their new school.   53 2.2.2.2 Memory map  I asked the participants to take a sheet of paper, crayon and some marker pens so that they could draw a simple sketch, map, or diagram of their neighborhood and/or community in their hometown (see Figure 2.8). By drawing, and later by presenting their drawing, workshop participants were able to explore what activities and places contributed to create their sense of home.   Once participants had presented their maps, I showed them pre-made maps of the old and new towns/villages and asked participants to describe the differences that they perceived between their old residence (and popular places in the old town) compared with their new residence and environment. In this way, using contrast, I could better understand, in the original hometown, what were important place(s), and what the ways were, in which people remembered their hometown and established an emotional relationship with it.  Initially, I asked each participant to draw something to describe his or her original hometown. It could be some place(s) he/she used to visit or a certain building or place that symbolized the town/village to the participant, or they could draw a full map. To remove participants’ possible anxiety, they were reassured that their picture need not be “perfect”. Some participants expressed that they would rather not draw; these I asked to write down some sentences about their hometown.   Subsequently, I asked participants to describe his/her drawing (or writing). The participant’s work was placed on a wall and he/she was asked to recall something in relation to that drawing. I  54 encouraged the participants to express their feelings about their original hometown and stimulated the discussion by asking questions such as:  Does your drawing remind you of your home?  If yes,  What are the characteristics, such as architectural style, materials, location or ambiance that enhances this feeling? What did you do there that gave you this feeling?  If no, the question, “Why not?” was raised.  Finally, I showed the participants the maps of both the old and new town/village, which had been created by the study of the archival material collected for the old and new town, plus their own work that was put up on the wall. I requested that the participants work together to describe the difference between the old and new towns/villages; what popular places were in the old town/village but not reappearing in the new town/village, and to describe what people used to do in those places. All these places/spaces would be noted and they would be found (if possible) and carefully checked on the walk-along interview.           55 Figure 2.8 Sample of a memory map (photograph taken by author)   2.2.3 Walk-along interview  At the end of the workshop, I requested that each participant schedule a time for an individual walk-along interview, in the new town and/or in the old town, if they were interested in doing so, at their convenience. During the walk-along interviews (see Figure 2.9), I went with the participants to familiar environments (neighborhood, community, or a larger local area) (Carpiano, 2009) and would interview a participant while touring together in one of these preselected environments (new town and/or old town). Through asking questions and observing, I learned about people’s experiences of place and how their memories of their hometown affected their lives in the new town.    56 During the walk-along interview in the new town, I asked the participant to describe changes regarding his/her life that had occurred since their arrival in the new town. For example, where did he/she shop in the original town, as compared to where he/she shops in the new town? Another example is: what did he/she used to do in his/her spare time, and where did he/she do it, as compared to where and what he/she does during free time in the new community?   When the old towns were still in functional existence (some were preserved as earthquake memorial parks), I requested that I accompany the participants, individually, to take a walk together in the old town. While walking, I asked him/her to recall and describe what the physical changes were that occurred there prior to and after the earthquake. I asked the participants to compare the new town/village to the old town/village, and give me their opinion, as to which parts they hoped the designers could improve upon in the new town/village (based on that comparison) and what they, themselves could do to improve their surroundings according to their previous experience of daily life and use of space in the old town/village. Meanwhile, I stayed alert for any discrepancies, hidden information or new information regarding the interviewees’ space-using activities that were experienced in their original hometown. The questions that were asked during the walk-along interview are presented in Appendix B.              57 Figure 2.9 Visual record of a brief rest during a particular walk-along interview  (photography taken by Fang Yu, used under permission)    2.3 Sites of fieldwork The field sites selected are located in the worst-hit or the second-to-worst-hit areas. From September, 2012 to December, 2012, I returned to the field to do more dissertation data-collection. From the end of September 2012 to the beginning of November 2012, I lived in the city of Dujiangyan, near the main epicenter of Wenchuan County. The worst-hit and second worst-hit areas included a large number of cities, towns and villages, which were comprised of people from different cultural backgrounds. I wanted to include as many of the ethnic groups as possible throughout the region, therefore, the selection of the research sites took this into account as explained below.  58 With Dujiangyan as my home base, I set out and visited 18 villages, towns and cities. I moved to the city of Deyang in November, 2012, establishing that city as my home base until the middle of December, 2012. Deyang is near Beichuan City, and the city of Beichuan is another one of the main earthquake epicenters. During that period, my fieldwork covered eight more villages, towns and cities. All the research locations in Sichuan, China, including villages, towns and cities, are shown in Figure 2.10 and Table 2.1. Then, in order to better understand the function of memory in the survivors’ post-disaster daily life, I traveled to the cities of Tangshan in Hebei Province (three research locations are shown in Figure 2.11 and Table 2.1) and Taizhong in Taiwan (a research location is shown in Figure 2.12 and Table 2.1) to converse with earthquake victims who had experienced the earthquakes that took place in these areas (Tangshan earthquake in 1976 and Taiwan “921” earthquake in 1999)18.   The Wenchuan earthquake-hit area is located in the northern part of Sichuan Province, the province itself is located in southwestern China. This quake-hit area includes two ancestral territories belonging to two major ethnic groups of this region: the Zang and Qiang people (The People’s Government of Mabian County, 2009). Indeed, one of the epicenter centers, the city of Wenchuan, belongs to the Aba prefecture of Sichuan, which is the only existing Zang and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture in China. A long history and much cultural diversity in this area endow it with a richness abounding in place memories. When I chose the research settings, I considered these physical and social aspects by choosing several specific areas within each of the two ancestral territories.                                                   18 I visited these two cities during the month of December 2012. I interviewed people who had survived both of these disasters. They accepted to be interviewed and introduced me to their friends and relatives who had lived through the disasters as well.  59 Figure 2.10 Research locations in Sichuan, China     Figure X. The blue part in the map above, which was added by author, indicates the worst-hit and second-to-worst-hit areas. All the research locations (village, towns and cities) (see Table 2.1, as well), which were added by author, are marked with red dots. Adapted from “China Sichuan location map” by NordNordWest/Wikipedia, retrieved from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:China_Sichuan_location_map.svg.  Used under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en).   60 Figure 2.11 Research locations in Hebei, China    Figure X. Research locations (see Table 2.1), are marked with red dots, were added by author. Adapted from “Location of Tangshan Prefecture (yellow) within Hebei Province of China (background map)” by Croquant /Wikipedia, retrieved from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Location_of_Tangshan_Prefecture_within_Hebei_(China).png. Used under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en).   61 Figure 2.12 The research location in Taiwan    Figure X. The research location, Wufeng District, Taizhong (see Table 2.1), is marked with blue dots, was added by author. Adapted from “Map of Taiwan” by Phrood/Wikipedia, retrieved from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Atlas_of_Taiwan#mediaviewer/File:Taiwan-Karte.png. Used under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en).  62 2.3.1 Rural area vs. urban area  The reconstruction work that transpired after the Wenchuan earthquake was conducted in both rural and urban areas. My fieldwork focused on people from rural areas who were relocated to urban communities because:   1) In consideration of peoples’ living quality having been changed by the earthquake, the urban dwellers usually were relocated within the same urban area as they had lived in before, with infrastructure of equal or better quality. However, most rural inhabitants were relocated into urban communities, far from their native homes, with certain aspects of their living conditions being dramatically improved. Thus, the effect of the tremendous changes that took place in their lives is what I wanted to examine.  2) In terms of the damage status caused by the earthquake, in urban areas there were generally fewer buildings that were totally destroyed than in rural areas. Therefore, most of the reconstruction work in the cities was repair work and only a small amount of complete rebuilding and relocation. In the rural areas, however, entire villages and towns were destroyed and had to be completely rebuilt, or if that was impossible the inhabitants were relocated to other areas in the province.   3) In terms of the post-disaster financial status in urban areas, in general, urban dwellers are not dependent on the land as are rural inhabitants; therefore, their financial status is at less risk, no matter where they were resettled within the urban centers compared to rural inhabitants. The main income of most rural area dwellers comes from vegetable farms, orchards and/or poultry  63 and livestock. Some farmers (when they were relocated into a city (far away from their native land) lost the means to their only income. A very few were able to get reestablished on a new farm, depending on the resettlement plan.  4) Rural area dwellers historically have settled according to their kinship and marital links. Many generations usually stay in one place since time immemorial (thousands of years). However, the urban dwellers historically move from place to place much more than the rural dwellers. Thus, the rural dwellers tend to have stronger, more stable relationships with their neighbors and surroundings. They also have more freedom, than do the urban dwellers, to modify the physical aspects of their living place. These things contribute to their social relationships, as well as a firmer place attachment to their living place.    5) People living in the rural areas have a long-term connection with their physical surroundings and most of the rural residents have excellent construction skills. It would have been much more productive and would have contributed greatly to the reconstruction work, if those skills had been utilized in the reconstruction of their own housing.  Hence, having considered all the points made above, my fieldwork focused on small villages and/or towns in the Wenchuan earthquake-hit rural area (see Table 2.1 and Figure 2.10). Often ordinary people “are mostly invisible to those who wield power, unless, when stepped upon, they cry out” (Friedmann, 2010, p. 162), my heart and mind responded to the plight of these people and aimed to validate their lives and contribution.  64 2.3.2 Reconstruction models All the reconstruction projects in the rural area could be catalogued within the following three physical models19: near to on-site reconstruction, ex-site reconstruction and mixed reconstruction. When choosing the field sites, I paid attention to using a balanced percentage of them in my research. The three types of reconstruction models are defined according to the following characteristics:  Near to on-site reconstruction model. In most cases, the earthquake destroyed most of the original towns and villages in its wake, with the remains of the ruined town/village still in evidence. A new town/village was built for the survivors, in a new setting, very close to the original site. The dwellers, in this case, still live in a rural area but the infrastructure of their new community has been dramatically improved over their former residences. Most of the dwellers still carry on their original way of life (farming).   Ex-site reconstruction model. The original site became unsuitable and unsafe for reconstruction. Residents of these towns were moved to “modern” communities in urban areas far away from their original hometown. Almost all of them lost their income source.  Mixed reconstruction model. This model combined the previous two reconstruction models and was utilized for several small-scale villages that were in proximate locations. The government                                                 19 As mentioned in Chapter 1, the government oversaw all of the reconstruction work. Hence, these models were put in place by the government. Due to the fact that people did not usually have home insurance and even other kinds of insurance, such as accident and critical illness insurance, especially in the rural areas of China, most of the earthquake survivors were not able to obtain any financial support to rebuild from insurance. The other fact is that the Chinese have a very strong culture of saving. Accordingly, most survivors used their savings to rebuild their homes. This issue will be discussed in Chapter 3, 4 and 5 in detail.   65 used this model in two situations: 1) to avoid waste by eliminating small-scale and isolated reconstruction for each village. If a few villages could come together to share the same infrastructure and farming facility systems, it would be more economically sound than if infrastructure and farming facility systems were to be built separately in each village. 2) Some of the villages’ original settings were not suitable for rebuilding. Hence, in these instances, the government chose a common setting to bring the people of a few villages together.   2.4 Participants in the study 2.4.1 Local survivors of the Wenchuan earthquake  The local residents, who lived through the Wenchuan earthquake, most of whom were relocated after the disaster, were the main participants in the research. When I initially went to the region with the design team, soon after the earthquake, I learned about the local dwellers’ strong feelings for the places they had lived in, prior to earthquake. Upon my return to the region for fieldwork, I found these people hospitable and willing to share these feelings. An important factor that I kept foremost in my mind throughout my involvement with them was that their ancestors were the ones who built their original hometowns. These people had strong, enduring attachment to their original homes and then witnessed, and had to live with the results of, the government’s reconstruction. They are the direct victims of the earthquake, as well as the final beneficiaries of the reconstruction.  Upon my arrival in the pre-selected settings, I did not conduct research immediately. Instead, I participated in the local residents’ farming and daily activities, tutored their school children and helped them to become more computer knowledgeable. The farming activities were comprised of  66 collecting fruits (kiwi and plum), vegetables (bell pepper and Chinese cabbage) and grain (corn). The daily activities included: helping the local residents fill out their applications to receive TV cable and natural gas, as well as offering some suggestions regarding the interior decoration of their new housing. Meanwhile, in some of the mountainous villages I visited, such as Sanlong Village and Luobozhai Village, I tutored the local elementary schoolchildren (approximately 30 in total), helping them with their homework and showing them how to use computers. After a short period (approximately a week), a more trusting relationship was created with the local residents and almost all of the residents knew my intentions and were comfortable with the idea that I was conducting research in their community. After that, I put up research posters and handed out notices in the local public spaces (plaza, weekend market, park, etc.) to invite prospective participants, as well as requested that they circulate the advertisement to their relatives, friends and/or anyone who might be interested. At the same time, because of the good relationships I had previously established with various local governments (I worked with them during my master’s degree studies), I sent an initial contact letter and several copies of the notice to the local government officials and requested them to make an announcement and circulate the notice at the beginning or the end of the regular community meeting, so that the local dwellers would be able to have access to the research information. The utilization of these two recruitment procedures was successful and I received a large number of positive responses.   As mentioned in Chapter 1, gender and ethnic dimensions are essential to consider in post-disaster reconstruction processes and results. For example, in the quake-hit, rural areas of Sichuan, men usually worked as migrant workers in the urban areas, leaving their wives, children and senior parents at home. The women usually took care of their children and the seniors as  67 well as most of the farming activities. Hence, women had more opportunities to be involved in the post-disaster reconstruction than men, which means that the women’s influence on the process and outcome of the post-disaster reconstruction might have been greater than the men’s. However, in my dissertation, I did not especially pay attention to the contribution of these gender or age groups. Furthermore, the people affected by the Wenchuan disaster belonged to at least five different ethnic groups (The People’s Government of Mabian County, 2009). Their indigenous knowledge possibly helped them contribute to the post-disaster reconstruction. As Qiang and Zang are the two main ethnic groups in the rural quake-hit area in Sichuan Province, my research involved some Qiang and Zang participants.    After collecting basic information during the process of recruitment, I considered, for each research activity, the balance of gender, age, years, lived in the original hometown, the percentage of people that the interviewees were familiar with in the original hometown, educational background, occupation, family background and ethic group (see Table 2.1 and Table 2.2). Totally, 129 earthquake survivors from Sichuan Province participated in the study (see Table 2.1 and Table 2.2). In the 19 workshops conducted in 18 different settings 115 participants took part (see Table 2.1 and Table 2.2). Some of the people (52) who participated in the workshops also participated in the individual walk-along interviews and 14 people only attended the walk-along interview (see Table 2.1 and Table 2.2).  2.4.2 Policy and decision makers of the Wenchuan earthquake’s reconstruction In order to get an understanding of the governmental interventions during the post-Wenchuan earthquake reconstruction and recovery, I also approached many of the government officials  68 (provincial and local levels) and appointed professional designers who directly and indirectly participated in the post-disaster reconstruction. As mentioned before, I had maintained some connections with some local governments. These connections helped me in making interview appointments with the government officers, as well as to connect with other decision and policy makers. From various perspectives, officials offered abundant information regarding the government’s policies that covered the entire process of the reconstruction. Those among the officials who had been relocated into the newly built communities talked as well about their personal experiences and what their lives were like living in the new communities. 16 provincial and local government officials and six of the appointed professional designers were invited and attended the research workshops and walk-along interviews created for professionals and officials. Due to the fact that all these officials had very tight schedules, it was difficult to get them together for workshops. Hence, I requested that they attend the individual walk-along interview to make sure I could obtain their viewpoints. Six officials among the total amount (22) attended individual walk-along interviews only (see Table 2.1 and Table 2.2). 10 officials took part in three memory workshops that were set up especially for officials (see Table 2.1 and Table 2.2). Four officials among these 10 officials attended the individual walk-along interviews after the workshops (see Table 2.1 and Table 2.2). All of the professional designers attended individual walk-along interviews (see Table 2.1 and Table 2.2).   2.4.3 Witnesses of the Tangshan earthquake and the Taiwan “921” earthquake  In order to more completely understand the unique characteristics of the entire post-disaster reconstruction and recovery after Wenchuan earthquake, as well as discover the local inhabitants’ roles in this process, I traveled to the city of Tangshan in Hebei Province (site of the  69 Tangshan earthquake) and Taizhong County in Taiwan (site of the Taiwan “921” earthquake. In Tangshan, I initially interviewed (during walk-along interviews) four survivors, including one designer (see Table 2.1 and Table 2.2). Four survivors from Wufeng District, Taizhong (including two local residents and two government officials) participated in one workshop. There were also two government officials involved in walk-along interviews (see Table 2.1 and Table 2.2). The survivors that I interviewed in both areas described their experiences throughout the entire process of the post–disaster reconstruction in those places. Listening to these survivors’ experiences helped me to put into perspective my analysis of the Wenchuan case, in a more comprehensive manner and helped me to be better able to understand commonalities and differences in the three different reconstruction processes. In both Tangshan and Taizhong, I invited the selected participants to express their opinions (including their feelings about what the earthquake’s impact had on them) concerning their sense of home, both in their original hometowns and in the new towns.      70 Table 2.1 Participant demographics for workshops and walk-along interviews-Part 1  No. Location Status Number of Participants Number of people in activities Gender Age Group   Village/Town City Province Official Residential  Workshop (WS) Walk-along Interview (WI) Male Female 18-39 40-59  60+ 1 Chicheng Dujiangyan Sichuan O 3 3 1 67% 33% 67% 33% 0% 2 Heming Dujiangyan Sichuan O  3 3 1 33% 67% 67% 33% 0% 3 Heming Dujiangyan Sichuan R 7 7 3 43% 57% 14% 43% 43% 4 Luchi Dujiangyan Sichuan R 7 7 6 30% 70% 14% 43% 43% 5 Shuimo Wenchuan Sichuan R 5 5 2 40% 60% 60% 0% 40% 6 Chicheng Dujiangyan Sichuan O 1 0 1 100% 0% 0% 0% 100% 7 Chicheng Dujiangyan Sichuan R 3 0 3 0% 100% 0% 100% 0% 8 Qingtian Dujiangyan Sichuan R 10 10 5 50% 50% 10% 70% 20% 9 Luobozhai Wenchuan Sichuan R 5 5 2 60% 40% 60% 0% 40% 10 Luobozhai Wenchuan Sichuan R 6 6 3 83% 17% 17% 17% 66% 11 Luchi Dujiangyan Sichuan R 5 5 4 40% 60% 40% 40% 20% 12 Sanlong Maoxian Sichuan R 7 7 7 43% 57% 71% 29% 0% 13 Yijiequ Dujiangyan Sichuan O  3 0 3 33% 67% 33% 0% 67% 14 Dongqi Factory Mianzhu Sichuan R 8 8 2 50% 50% 38% 0% 62% 15 Hanxin Mianzhu Sichuan R 14 14 7 14% 86% 7% 64% 29% 16 Jintu Mianzhu Sichuan R 3 0 3 0% 100% 0% 67% 33% 17 Jiulong Mianzhu Sichuan O  4 4 2 25% 75% 50% 50% 0% 18 Old Beichuan Beichuan Sichuan R 3 0 3 0% 100% 33% 67% 0% 19 New Town Beichuan Sichuan R 3 0 3 33% 67% 0% 67% 33% 20 Hongbai Deyang Sichuan R 5 5 1 60% 40% 40% 20% 40% 21 Pingle Dujiangyan Sichuan R 7 7 1 43% 57% 57% 0% 43% 22 Taian Dujiangyan Sichuan R 2 0 2 0% 100% 50% 50% 0%  71 No. Location Status Number of Participants Number of people in activities Gender Age Group   Village/Town City Province Official Residential  Workshop (WS) Walk-along Interview (WI) Male Female 18-39 40-59  60+ 23 Sichuan Agricultural University (SAU)  Dujiangyan Sichuan R 8 8 0 25% 75% 100% 0% 0% 24 Dujiangyan Sichuan R 11 11 0 36% 64% 100% 0% 0% 25 Jiezi Pengzhou Sichuan R 4 4 4 25% 75% 50% 25% 25% 26 Fuzu Dujiangyan Sichuan R 6 6 3 50% 50% 33% 17% 50% 27 Jingyang Deyang Sichuan O  4 0 4 100% 0% 75% 25% 0% 28 Chengdu Chengdu Sichuan O  4 0 4 100% 0% 25% 75% 0% 29 Wufeng Taizhong Taiwan O&R  4 4 2 100% 0% 0% 0% 100% 30 Kaiping District Tangshan Heibei R 1 0 1 0% 100% 0% 0% 100% 31 Fengnan District Tangshan Heibei R 1 0 1 100% 0% 0% 0% 100% 32 Old Town Tangshan Heibei R 2 0 2 100% 0% 0% 50% 50%            72 Table 2.2 Participant demographics for workshops and walk-along interviews-Part 2 No. Location Years lived in the original hometown Familiar with people in the original hometown Original Occupation  Education Ethnic Group(s)20   Village/ Town City Province Since Birth  Since marriage (10years +) <75% 75%+ Farmer Others Less than Senior Secondary School Senior Secondary School+  1 Chicheng Dujiangyan Sichuan 33% 5years 33% 100% 100% 0% 0% 100% Han 2 Heming Dujiangyan Sichuan 67% 3 years 33% 100% 100% 0% 0% 100% Han 3 Heming Dujiangyan Sichuan 29% 57% 0% 100% 100% 0% 57% 43% Han 4 Luchi Dujiangyan Sichuan 57% 43% 0% 100% 57% 43% 71% 29% Han 5 Shuimo Wenchuan Sichuan 80% 5 years 0% 100% 40% 60% 20% 80% Zang 6 Chicheng Dujiangyan Sichuan 100% 0% 0% 100% 100% 0% 100% 0% Han 7 Chicheng Dujiangyan Sichuan 100% 0% 0% 100% 100% 0% 100% 0% Han 8 Qingtian Dujiangyan Sichuan 90% 10% 0% 100% 100% 0% 100% 0% Han 9 Luobozhai Wenchuan Sichuan 80% 20% 0% 100% 80% 20% 100% 0% Qiang 10 Luobozhai Wenchuan Sichuan 100% 0% 0% 100% 83% 17% 83% 17% Qiang 11 Luchi Dujiangyan Sichuan 60% 40% 0% 100% 60% 40% 80% 20% Han 12 Sanlong Maoxian Sichuan 43% 57% 0% 100% 100% 0% 86% 14%  13 Yijiequ Dujiangyan Sichuan 100% 0% 67% 33% 100% 0% 100% 0% Han 14 Dongqi Factory Mianzhu Sichuan 63% 37% 0% 100% 50% 50% 100% 0% Han 15 Hanxin Mianzhu Sichuan 64% 36% 0% 100% 100% 0% 100% 0% Han 16 Jintu Mianzhu Sichuan 100% 0% 0% 100% 100% 0% 100% 0% Han 17 Jiulong Mianzhu Sichuan 50% 50% 0% 100% 100% 0% 75% 25% Qiang 18 Old Beichuan Beichuan Sichuan 33% 67% 0% 100% 100% 0% 100% 0% Qiang                                                  20 Qiang and Zang are the two largest ethnic minorities in the quake-hit area in Sichuan Provence. Han comprises the largest ethnic group in Mainland China. Gaoshan is an ethnic group in Taiwan.   73 No. Location Years lived in the original hometown Familiar with people in the original hometown Original Occupation  Education Ethnic Group(s)   Village/Town City Province Since Birth  Since marriage (10years +) <75% 75%+ Farmer Others Less than Senior Secondary School Senior Secondary School+  19 New Town Beichuan Sichuan 33% 67% 0% 100% 0% 100% 100% 0% Qing 20 Hongbai Deyang Sichuan 80% 20% 0% 100% 60% 40% 50% 50% Han 21 Pingle Dujiangyan Sichuan 71% 29% 0% 100% 29% 71% 100% 0% Han 22 Taian Dujiangyan Sichuan 100% 0% 0% 100% 50% 50% 100% 0% Han 23 Sichuan Agricultural University (SAU)  Dujiangyan Sichuan 88% 12% 0% 100% 0% 100% 0% 100% Qiang+Zang 24 Dujiangyan Sichuan 100% 0% 0% 100% 0% 100% 0% 100% Han 25 Jiezi Pengzhou Sichuan 75% 25% 0% 100% 100% 0% 100% 0% Han 26 Fuzu Dujiangyan Sichuan 50% 50% 0% 100% 67% 33% 100% 0% Han 27 Jingyang Deyang Sichuan 0% 100% 100% 0% 0% 100% 0% 100% Han 28 Chengdu Chengdu Sichuan 0% 0% 100% 0% 0% 100% 0% 100% Han 29 Wufeng Taizhong Taiwan 100% 0% 0% 100% 0% 100% 0% 100% Gaoshan 30 Kaiping District Tangshan Heibei 100% 0% 0% 100% 0% 100% 100% 0% Han 31 Fengnan District Tangshan Heibei 100% 0% 0% 100% 0% 100% 100% 0% Han 32 Old Town Tangshan Heibei 100% 0% 0% 100% 0% 100% 100% 0% Han   74  2.5 Data analysis  I utilized Moustakas’s (1994) method of phenomenological analysis and interpretation for data analysis. This method is best suited to understand the meanings and experiences evoked in personal and group memories. Immediately after the research activities, I composed a list of “significant statements” (Moustakas, 1994), to which I responded describing my personal impressions regarding the survivors’ stated losses of their “sense of home”. Then, I transcribed all the audio-taped materials. After working on the transcriptions, the “significant statements” were grouped into different “meaning units” (Moustakas, 1994). Under each “meaning unit”, I placed the local residents’ experience regarding the phenomenon of losing their “sense of home”, and deciphered the reasons that contributed to this phenomenon by analyzing the experience of each of the participants (see participants recruitment section). The data analysis methods that were applied to analyze the workshop transcripts and image data are as following:   Audiotapes from workshops and walk-along interviews were transcribed and the material was reduced into themes through a process of coding. The process of data coding and analysis of transcripts was assisted by NVivo21. Before breaking the entire transcript or visual data into sections, I read each transcript in its entirety and went over all the visual data several times, with the aim of capturing the main idea(s). I used memos or marginal notations to record phrases and ideas that captured each transcript’s implied meanings. The process of coding began by developing the free code for each transcript. Therefore, the code database of each transcript includes 25 to 45 free codes, and the code databases of different transcripts overlapped. The                                                 21 NVivo “is software that supports qualitative and mixed methods research” (“NVivo,” n.d., p.1). It “collect, organize and analyze the content from interviews, focus group discussions, surveys” (“NVivo,” n.d., p.1). 75  NVivo shows the frequency of each free code in different databases. I then organized the similar free codes into different themes, and then grouped similar or connective themes into several categories. This way, the compiled free codes became separate and distinct categories, with each related category aligned with the analytic framework in the literature (Chapter 1). Several categories were then grouped into one final main categorical section, which then would become one of my dissertation chapters, expressly Chapters 4, 5 and 6.   Images were organized and examined according to size (ex: large or small), shape (ex: square or circular) and position (central or peripheral in the picture). The analysis process was similar to the coding and theme development process of the transcript. The analysis outcomes were used to support different themes in the discussion.   2.6 Ethical considerations Due to the fact that my research activities included the participants’ memories of the disaster recalled during individual (walk-along interview) and group (memory workshop) activities, there was the possibility that such remembering could cause some stress in the earthquake survivors. Emotional distressing reactions, in addition to other ethical issues, such as participants’ privacy and security, were considered during the entire research process.    Risk: There were no anticipated physical or psychological risks related to participating in this study. Some of the interview questions, however, might have been sensitive to some participants. For example, when the participants were recalling their experience regarding the earthquake, some of them burst into tears. When this would happen, I would halt the workshop/walk-along 76  interview and check on the participants to confirm their desire to continue. I also checked with the participants at the end of the workshop/interview, especially the one(s) who may have been distressed, to ensure that they were okay. I was prepared to provide the participants with contacts of professionals in the counseling field who worked locally, who could be available upon request, if any participant asked.   Confidentiality: Identifying information was removed from data files. Documents with identifying information were kept separately from the data. Issues relating to the government are most sensitive in Chinese society. The people who participated in my research told me that talking in public about any issue that was critical of anything relating to the government might trigger trouble for them, especially because in the workshop format, full confidentiality could not be guaranteed. Therefore, the participants were made aware in advance about the parameters of confidentiality that they could expect at the workshops. If governmental or any related sensitive issues were raised in the collective space of the workshop, I would guide the participants to turn to a new topic. If a governmental issue was touched upon during a workshop, after the workshop I checked with the participants to ensure whether or not they wished to share this information in my published writing. I would also ask that the participants not to discuss who said what in the workshop or sensitive topics raised outside the workshop. Furthermore, in order to protect the participants’ privacy, all names mentioned in this dissertation are pseudonyms. According to the Chinese name custom, the family name precedes the given name.  77  2.7 Standing at the crossroads: trustworthiness and credibility I define myself as a researcher with an interdisciplinary lens. The qualitative part of the research in this dissertation is a study of part of the “empirical world” from my personal standpoint (Schmid, 1981). On the one hand, the “physical, sociocultural, and psychological environment” of the milieu affects my observations (Schmid, 1981, cited in Krefting, 1991, p. 214). On the other hand, my subjective analysis easily goes beyond the confines of my research (Krefting, 1991), hence, personal biases are inevitable and absolute neutrality is impossible. Therefore, during the research and data analysis process, I tried to keep a distance from all the participants by observing and analyzing participants’ activities in their cultural and social backgrounds, as much as possible, in order to ensure the trustworthiness and credibility of the research process. I will thus explain my role of researcher in the context of the multiple roles and situations that have brought me in contact with the survivors of the Wenchuan earthquake.  A designer, who witnessed the dramatic physical and social, post-earthquake changes and participated in the Wenchuan earthquake reconstruction. Since each architect or urban designer has his or her own preferred design style, it is possible that his or her predilection may influence his or her decision-making and outcome. Prior to this research project, I completed two professional degrees in architecture and urban design in China. In Canada, at University of British Columbia (UBC), I took three core courses in the Landscape Architecture Graduate Program and three in the Planning Graduate Program. I also took one course and audited one course in the Master of Social Work Program at UBC. Therefore, I feel I am qualified to deal with design projects successfully. In this dissertation, this professional background and personal 78  preference, which was certainly developed and influenced by my educational background, also impacted on the evaluation process and outcomes I report here.  A listener, who collected a great deal of data from disaster victims, all of whom had differing attitudes and perspectives regarding the post-disaster reconstruction. In both the memory workshops and walk-along interviews, I carefully conducted the entire process and did not share any personal beliefs, which would influence and/or direct the participants’ viewpoint. During the research activities, the participants naturally expressed their complaints, which often were directed towards the government, and they voiced their strong opposing opinions regarding the government’s policy regarding the reconstruction policy. Knowing that anything policy-related and/or government-related would be a very sensitive topic in China, I avoided expressing any personal opinion. In fact, on those occasions when participants held differing opinions, heated discussion would arise. When this happened, I controlled the situation by leading the group to a new topic. Other participants also generally helped to calm the group and maintain peace by modeling it in the situation.   An observer, who, upon arrival, surveyed and studied the earthquake survivors’ behavior after they moved into their new communities, especially when they went about making modifications in their new communities. As I participated more in the local residents’ daily activities in their new surroundings, I could better comprehend how their daily lives operated. During the memory workshops and in walk along interviews, in addition to hearing what they had to say, I became aware of the participants’ thoughts and feelings, through their body language, vocal tone and 79  other visible physical behaviors that they displayed. Hence, I found observation to be an excellent silent analytical tool.  An analyst, who tried to maintain as much rigor as possible in understanding the data, and not express my perception while conversing with the participants, as, they were giving their opinions based on their own judgments, their own background and experiences. To some extent, my own background may limit my objectivity and shape my standpoint in this research. I grew up in a city in northwestern China, where the cultural milieu and natural environment are very different from the earthquake-hit areas in southwestern Sichuan Province. Throughout Sichuan Province, from east to west and from north to south, differences in culture and physical environment abound. I obtained my bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Sichuan University, located in Chengdu, the capital city of Sichuan Province. Even though I lived and studied there for eight years and could speak the local dialect (of the survivors in the earthquake-hit areas) fluently, when I conducted my research activities, I realized that the differences between Chengdu and the earthquake-hit areas were myriad. Furthermore, my doctoral training has been conducted at UBC, in the city of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. This environment has given me some idea of the western hemisphere’s perspective. When I went back to the earthquake-hit area to collect data, I found to my astonishment, that the entire society had changed rapidly in such a short period of time. Hence, all these things have undoubtedly affected my analysis and design-making processes.   A translator: who translated the original transcriptions of the tape-recorded materials from Chinese to English. The body movements, gestures and emotional responses were described in 80  brackets in the transcriptions. I used the Chinese transcriptions for coding and theme, due to the fact that Chinese is my first language and I can read swiftly and address the subtle meanings accurately. However, I rewrote all the codes and themes in English so that my committee members, some of whom are not Chinese speakers, could read them and discuss them easily. The spoken material in this dissertation has, for the most part, been translated directly into English. However, the translation from Chinese to English, of course, involves personal predilections and is affected by my own background. The only times (such as with local dialect, governmental documents or exclusive Chinese terminologies) that I would paraphrase would be when the tremendous linguistic differences between the English and the Chinese were too great to directly translate. Hence, I requested and received peer-reviews, from bi-lingual (Chinese and English) speakers, such as my classmates at UBC and Dr. Yan Miu Chung, who is my co-supervisor, to ensure the translation’s accuracy.   A learner, having been educated in the “School of Hard Knocks”22; taught me a lot and humbled me greatly. University has given me much scholarly knowledge, but what I have learned from life outside of school has also been invaluable and has educated me out of my childish ignorance. As I progressed deeper into the journey of my doctoral research, my new eyes assisted me to delve deeper and deeper into what I needed to learn. During the fieldwork, I experienced every participant as a tutor, teacher, and master… In fact, there is an old Chinese saying which uses the term “hidden dragons and crouching tigers” to describe people with undiscovered talents. During my fieldwork, it was my extreme good fortune to be exposed to the thoughts of and to work with these talented people. It amazed me when I saw skilled contractors from the countryside build                                                 22 “School of Hard Knocks” is cited here to suggest, “formal education is not of practical value compared to ‘street experience’ (“School of Hard Knocks,” n.d., p. 1). 81  houses with full competence and skill and without any drawings. I was totally astonished witnessing local carpenters completing a piece of stylish furniture without any nails. These things made huge impressions on me. My hope is that I may always keep these wonderful experiences in my heart and bear in mind them to inspire me towards my future goals.   2.8 Some practical considerations Citation of taped materials: The field materials quoted in this dissertation come from taped material, my fieldwork notes and journal, and/or from my memories. The taped materials are titled with a serial number, the location (village, town or city) and the type of session. Direct quotations from tape-recorded materials directly reference their file names. The participants were divided into two groups: one being government official (marked as “O” in the title), which included government officials and appointed designers. The other group was made up of local residents (marked as “R” in the title). The research activities include memory workshops and one-on-one walk-along interviews, marked as “WS” and “WI” respectively. For example, the title of “1-Chicheng-O-WS+WI” means that, the serial number 1 research was held in the village of Chicheng. Its participants were government officials, decision-makers and/or appointed designers. A workshop and one-on-one walk-along interview(s) were conducted. A list of research activities are showed in Table 2.1 and Table 2.2.   Permission to use photographs: There are three kinds of photographs used in this dissertation: 1) those that were taken by myself, marked as “photography taken by author”, 2) those obtained from the Internet. The use of those in this category were permitted by the owners’ and website requirements. Of the four photographs of which permission was not obtained, a website link was 82  provided with a description under the image and 3) those that were obtained from the owners. In these cases, I directly contacted the owners to get their permission to use their photographs.  83  Chapter  3: China’s Ambitious Post-Disaster Reconstruction    China’s urbanization and the United States’ new technological revolution play pivotal roles in civilization’s progress in the 21st century. Joseph E. Stiglitz, American economist   On the third anniversary of the Wenchuan earthquake (May, 2011), the Chinese central government made a public announcement to the world, stating that the reconstruction after the Wenchuan earthquake had been completed an entire year in advance of the projected date of completion (People’s Daily, 2011). Some Chinese media encouraged Chinese citizens to take pride in these achievements, and celebrated that the principal projects, such as residential buildings and infrastructure system had been effectively completed in less than two years (Chen & Booth, 2011). During that period of the third anniversary of the Wenchuan earthquake, almost all the Chinese public media preached that by completing their goals in only three years (the fastest time for earthquake reconstruction ever accomplished), the Chinese government had successful solved the international problem of post-disaster reconstruction. Some foreign media and officials highly praised the post-Wenchuan earthquake reconstruction, as well, 2009). Indeed, the majority of the public buildings, such as the Juyuan Secondary School in Dujiangyan, which was utterly destroyed, had been completely rebuilt in less than one year (Ren, 2010).  According to the Chinese government, the superfast reconstruction process and remarkable reconstruction outcomes amazed the world (“Wenchuan earthquake,” n.d.). Hu Jing Tao, the 84  Chinese president, came to inspect the reconstruction process and outcomes in Sichuan Province three times after the earthquake and demanded that the reconstruction tempo should be accelerated (Sun, 2009). The government sought to demonstrate that China is powerful enough to deal with such a catastrophe. This chapter introduces contextual information on the economic, social and policy factors that informed the Chinese government’s strategy for the recovery and reconstruction processes, and compares these factors with other domestic and international post-disaster reconstruction cases.   3.1  Economic, social and political background and development From the perspective of the current development approach applied in China, this section describes the economic, social and political context in which the Wenchuan post-disaster reconstruction and recovery occurred.  3.1.1 Economic development as the primary principle  The first official visit that China’s Vice Chairman, Deng Xiao Ping made to the United States in 1979 was upon the invitation of President Jimmy Carter. This was the first time that a top Chinese governmental leader formally visited the USA, after the establishment of the People’s Republic of China (Xu & Fu, 2009). It is reported that during the nine-day journey, Mr. Deng observed the tremendous gap between the two countries’ infrastructural development (Beijing Television, 2012). China would not be able to have much of a voice in international affairs, if it was lacking a solid infrastructure (as well as other important foundational features), even though it was, at that time, the largest developing country in the world. Upon his return, Deng launched 85  a national policy, the central focus of which was economic development (Zhang, 1996). His vision of economic development saw the role of the government as:   …Allowing some regions and enterprises and some workers and peasants to earn more and become better off before others, in accordance with their hard work and greater contributions to society… [This] will inevitably be an impressive example to their ‘neighbors’, and people in other regions and units will want to learn from them. This will help the whole national economy to advance, wave upon wave.         (Vogal & Levine, 2004, pp. 145-147)  Table 3.1 GDP comparison between China and the United States from 2001 to 2012 (“China’s GDP,” n.d.)    China  United States   GDP (Trillian USD) GDP Growth Rate GDP (Trillian USD) GDP Growth Rate 2001 1.325  10.23  2002 1.454 9.74% 10.59 3.52% 2003 1.641 12.86% 11.09 4.72% 2004 1.932 17.73% 11.8 6.40% 2005 2.257 16.82% 12.56 6.44% 2006 2.713 20.20% 13.31 5.97% 2007 3.494 28.79% 13.96 4.88% 2008 4.522 29.42% 14.22 1.86% 2009 4.991 10.37% 13.9 -2.25% 2010 5.931 18.83% 14.42 3.74% 2011 7.322 23.45% 14.99 3.95% 2012 8.227 12.36% 15.68 4.60% 86  From the inception of Deng’s policy in 1980, China’s gross domestic product (GDP) began to grow at an incredible speed increasing from 189.4 billion USD in 1980 to 356.9 billion USD in 1990, doubling over the next 10 years, then leaping to 1.198 trillion USD in 2000, tripling over the next 10 years, and then rocking to 5.931 trillion USD in 2010, quintupling in just 10 years (See Table 3.1).  During the 30 years of growth from 1980 to 2010, China’s GDP grew 30 times over (“Historical GDP of the People’s Republic of China,” n.d.). Hai (2011) argues that from 2001 to 2010, the period known as the golden 10 years of China’s economic development, China’s GDP growth rate kept above 10%. As clearly observed in Table 3.1, the growth rates during 2006, 2007 and 2008 exceeded 20% and approached 30% in 2008. It was at that time that the Wenchuan earthquake and the subsequent reconstruction took place. In contrast, the most powerful and largest economy worldwide, the United States’ highest growth rate, during the same period, was less than 6.5% (Bergmann, 2011).  3.1.2 The speed of urbanization  The tremendous and rapid physical construction, in such realms as infrastructure and real estate, has been the main reason the GDP growth accelerated so much (Aziz & Duenwald, 2002).   In 2003 alone, China put up 28 billion square feet of new housing—one eighth of the housing stock of the United States. In the year of 2004 alone, some $400 billion was spent on construction projects in the People’s Republic, nearly the total gross domestic product (GDP) of sub-Saharan Africa that year…Nationwide, China’s construction industry employs a workforce equal to the population of 87  California. Near half the world’s steel and cement is devoured by China. (Campanella, 2008, p. 15)  An illustrative example of the speed of urbanization is that in the city of Shanghai, China, it took only 15 years to finish a very complex and gigantic scale subway system (“Shanghai Metro,” n.d.). In contrast, it took 150 years for the subway system in the city of London, England to be completed. The city of Shenzhen, previously a fishing village in the southeastern basin of China, was developed to the level of being an international metropolis (even more cosmopolitan than its neighbor, the city of Hong Kong) in just 30 years (Cartier, 2002).  China’s fast GDP growth ensured material and economic resources for the reconstruction needs after the Wenchuan earthquake. Reciprocally the physical reconstruction after the earthquake consumed massive amounts of materials, equipment, and human resources, contributing to the increase of the annual GDP growth. Therefore, the Wenchuan earthquake, to some extent, offered an opportunity that stimulated and stabilized the increasing GDP tendency in China (Yuan, 2008).   Apart from showing China’s economic achievements in the domestic and international realms, what do these numbers mean to the citizens of China? Do these numbers reflect that there has been a dramatic improvement in the quality of their lives as well?   88  3.1.3 Quality of the rapid infrastructural development  Since the 1990’s, the push for economic development and infrastructural and physical construction has brought with it a heavy toll in the form of low quality results, heavy pollution, and lack of social service (Campanella, 2008).  Indeed, China used the least time to produce the world fastest high-speed railway. The former minister of the Chinese Ministry of Railways, Liu Zhi Jun, announced in public that China was operating the world’s longest constructed and under construction railway system by using the most advanced technologies, with the best performance and the fastest speed (Qing-Yin-Dian, 2011). However, after one year of its operation, on July 23, 2011, at least 35 people died and 210 were injured in a terrible high-speed train accident on the east coast of China (Wilson, 2011). “It was the most serious blow yet to the country’s beleaguered rail-modernization program” (Johnson, 2011, p. A11). Japan, over a 40-year period of successful and safe operation, increased its high-velocity rail speed from 240 KPH to 340 KPH. China, in comparison, began its speed at 300 KPH in 2004, when the high-speed rail was just first put into operation. This speed was ratcheted up to more than 480 KPH in just five years. After the 2011 accident, the Speaker of the Chinese Ministry of Railways publicly agreed that the high-speed railway had several critical, technical weaknesses and security problems, which could not be solved quickly.   In order to support the fast physical development, enormous high-energy-consumption and high-pollution-producing factories and enterprises, such as steel, cement and chemicals were put into operation (You, 2011). Indeed, in Beijing, China’s capital, “the visibility of pollution is undeniable” (Huang, 2013). Since 2011, the US Embassy’s 89  public reports (whose information is well-trusted by the Chinese citizens) have been suggesting that Beijing dwellers avoid outdoor activities because air pollution has been beyond measurable levels for a long period (Beijing air pollution off the charts, 2011; “Beijing-Administration and Society-Government,” n.d.). Xu, Chen and Ye (2013) state succinctly that: “air pollution in China is mainly caused by coal, motor vehicles, and industrial dust, and is linked with the rapid economic development” (p. 2067). The pollution issue ultimately goes back to China’s relentless push towards economic development, at the expense of environmental and social priorities.   Huang and Zhao (2010) argue that in order to prove to the world that China is able to deal with such a catastrophe (Wenchuan earthquake), the focus of almost all the reconstruction projects has been on the physical appearance rather than the quality of the work, because the appearance would be directly visible to the international media. According to Li (2008), poor management, which included reducing the amount of time of the building process as well as shortening certain important steps of the process (even to below the bare minimum requirements) in order to swiftly complete the construction, was bound to have a dire impact on the quality of the newly built structures. Some of these problems included leaky roofs and poor heat preservation (Yung & Yip, 2010). Some schools and nursing homes for the elderly built during this reconstruction period were not equipped with basic equipment or with qualified staff, however their exteriors were fully finished and impressive (Mok, 2000; Wu & Hou, 2013). This trend of high-speed construction and primacy of physical appearance, I argue, was not useful for the residents. 90  3.1.4 Economic development in the rural areas of western China The pace of the economic development has progressively triggered 1) unbalanced economic development between the eastern and western regions of China (Goodman, 2013) and 2) disproportionate income inequities between urban and rural residents. This disparity is most conspicuous in western China, where the economic development has been much more delayed than in the eastern and central regions23 (Li, 2010). In this regard, the central government released a strategy in 2000 to assist the western region’s development (“西部大开发,” [Western Development] n.d.). Based on the Republic of Korea’s 30 years plan of rural development, the Chinese government made an effort to narrow its own country’s income inequity gap by concerted development in the rural area. The Chinese government released a rural development policy, in 2007 called, “Building a New Socialistic Countryside” (The Central People’s Government of the People’s Republic of China, 2005), which aimed to improve the rural areas economically through the following five aspects: economic, political, cultural, socialist and organized of Chinese Communist Party (The Central People’s Government of the People’s Republic of China, 2005)24. Due to the fact that the rural infrastructure system in the western region is extremely weak, almost all the provincial governments in the western region put the above mentioned two projects into action by primarily improving local infrastructural                                                 23 Indeed by 1988, the urban resident’s income was 2.51 times more than that of the rural resident (China Statistical Yearbook 1998, 1998). This number rapidly jumped to 3.23 times more in 2007 (China Statistical Yearbook 2007, 2007). This tendency in the western region, where Sichuan Province is located, has been dramatically escalating (Sicular, Yue, Gustafsson, & Li, 2007). The statistical result reflects the average living standard throughout China. In the eastern and central regions, especially the eastern coastal region, the difference between the rural and urban areas is not so obvious. However, in the western region, with the long-term, slow economic development, the large gap between development in the rural areas as compared with urban areas is very noticeable (Sicular, Yue, Gustafsson, & Li, 2007). 24 The fact is that the rural residents living on the east coast of China, such as the Yangzi River Delta and the Pearl River Delta, have been enjoying, since the late 1990s, at least the same and in some parts, even better physical and social infrastructural foundation than the urban residents living in the cities (Chen, Liu, & Zhang, 2004). So, actually this policy was, for the most part, applied in the western and other less developed parts of China. 91  foundations, including residential housing and public service institutions (schools, hospitals, road networks and telecommunication) (Peng, 2007).   Sichuan Province stands among these provinces of the western region. Due to the earthquake area being primarily located in the mountainous region, the historical development in this area had always been slow, as compared to other parts of the province. Even after the release of the Western Development Strategy and New Socialist Countryside Policy, the development of the rural areas was still slower than in other regions (Sichuan Province Development and Reform Commission, 2009). Recovery from the Wenchuan earthquake, which happened under these two policies, actually (besides the widespread grief and misery it brought about) offered a valuable opportunity for local rural development, because the earthquake reconstruction effort attracted large funding, materials, goods, technology and human resources from domestic and international sources (1-Chicheng-O-WS+WI). The local governments in the earthquake-hit areas deemed that the reconstruction in these rural areas would advance local development to a new stage (1-Chicheng-O-WS+WI; 2-Heming-O-WS+WI; 6-Chicheng-O-WI; 13-Yijiequ-O-WI; 17-Jiulong-O-WS+WI).  3.1.5 Characteristics of the rural areas in the quake-hit region In the province of Sichuan, due to topographic features, the sparsely populated quake-hit areas are isolated from the urban areas, “rural areas are large and isolated areas with low population density” (“Rural area,” n.d.). According to the five-level adminstrative division in China (Huang, 1995) (Figure 3.1), the rural area includes the county level and township level.   92  Figure 3.1 Adminstrative division in China (Huang, 1995)   3.1.5.1 Physical aspect  The dominating building style in this region is the low-density and low-rise unit, typically a one- or two-story traditional village house. Each family has its own yard, which is usually used as a garden. The farmlands or orchards are located around or close to the homes (Liang, 2005). Traditional houses in the quake-hit areas are built on a small plot of land with an inner courtyard (see Figure 3.2). The inner courtyard is where the interaction between human beings and natural elements takes place (air, light, shade, plants, etc.) (Pang, 2009). The courtyard is, however, more than merely a functional device for daily interaction among people and their relationship with nature. It is the central component of the whole design process, for the courtyard is the organizing hub of all other spaces stemming from the yard (Xiao, 2002; Li, 2009; Wu, Chen, Zhao, Ma, Sun, & Luo, 2010).  93  Figure 3.2 Sample of the traditional courtyard (photograph taken by author)    The local family home is a wooden structure with stone-clay walls (see Figure 3.3). Wood, stone and clay are the three most commonly used materials. The wood is easily obtainable from the forest nearby. Clay and stone, as well, can be found all over this mountainous area (see maps at the beginning of this dissertation). Hence, the costs of building material are negligible and almost free (Construction Committee of Sichuan Province, Survey and Design Institution of Sichuan Province, & Civil Engineering Institution of Sichuan Province, 2004). 94  Figure 3.3 Sample of a traditional house built by traditional materials and methods (photograph taken by author)   In the beginning of the twentieth century, the Chinese central government instated a policy to protect the natural environment. It forbade the non-approved logging of trees throughout the country (The Central People’s Government of the People’s Republic of China, 2007). This policy, to some extent, decreased the number of wooden buildings in rural areas. After the earthquake, the local government preached that the earthquake-proof features of concrete structures would be better than the traditional wooden structure and directed the local dwellers to abandon the traditional style under the threat that no government compensation would be given to them, if they continued building traditional wooden buildings (9-Luobozhai-R-WS+WI; 11-Luchi-R-WS+WI; 22-Taian-R-WI). 95  Consequently, under this order, cement and sand became the most widely utilized construction method post-disaster, in the quake-hit area, resulting in the rapid increase in the cost of materials and human resources. However, almost every resident that I interviewed told me that the traditional style was preferred and that, if possible, they would choose it over the concrete method.   3.1.5.2 Social relationships  The rural areas’ social structure was based on a network connected by kinship ties (Christiansen & Zhang, 1998). Almost all those participating in the memory workshops and walk-along interviews knew everyone else living in his/her village or town.   Agriculture has always been the primary and, most often the only, livelihood source for the local residents. Since the 1990s, the young adults, especially the males, have often pursued job opportunities in urban areas with the aim of subsidizing their family needs, while the primary income was gained on the farm. After the earthquake, many relocated survivors lost their farmland and livelihood. For those people, it became necessary to find new ways to make money in the urban areas.  Before the earthquake, as well as afterwards, the local town and village residents have been primarily women, seniors and children. As mentioned above, the adult males usually work in the urban areas outside the hometown. The women, usually the wives of the migrant males, take care of the seniors, children and youth, as well as perform the farming work. Although some of the villagers need to leave to go to the city to work, the relationships among these residents are very 96  strong (Zhang, 1991). These home communities are the basic building blocks for all the human relationships in these areas (Zhang, 1991).  The preceding background and context information provides a broad picture of China’s economic priorities and development policies, during the period before the earthquake, as well as the unique characteristics that existed in the quake-hit rural areas in Sichuan Province before the disaster. Generally, economic development provided a physical foundation, as well as a basis for the social and political milieu that guided the post-disaster reconstruction’s super-fast tempo. How did the continuing this tempo (post-disaster) affect the reconstruction?  3.2 Fast response to earthquake  Since the Open-Door Policy of 1980, China has not witnessed any catastrophes that were as devastating as the Wenchuan earthquake (“Hundreds Buried” by China Quake, 2008; “Wenchuan earthquake,” n.d.). Although, there are many problems with this stance of speedy recovery, the fact that the citizens of China were unified and were whole-heartedly supportive of the toil and effort it would take to bring about recovery, gives me a feeling of solidarity and pride in being one of them. The next section will address how the citizens and the government responded to this emergency situation.  3.2.1 Wenchuan earthquake reunited the Chinese people  From political figures from other Chinese provinces and famous celebrities to common citizens, from Chinese people living abroad who came back to help to international residents living in China, from small companies to international enterprises, from the poor masses to the 97  millionaires, those who wanted to assist in the post-disaster rescue and reconstruction work came from all walks of life (“Wenchuan earthquake,” n.d.). Prayer services, donation galas and memorial activities were held in almost every city throughout China (see Figure 3.4) (Demick, 2008) and worldwide (as shown in Figure 3.5). Many popular domestic websites converted their front page from color to black and white, out of respect for the dead (Schwankert, 2008). The published donation information was roughly calculated two weeks after the earthquake to a total of 1 trillion Chinese Yuan, equal to 170 billion USD25 (Dong, 2008).   Figure 3.4 National mourning for 2008 Sichuan earthquake victims - Tiananmen Square, Beijing, 2008-05-19    Figure X. By Neo-Jay, Retrieved from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:National_mourning_for_2008_Sichuan_earthquake_victims_-_Tiananmen_Square,_Beijing,_2008-05-19_(Cropped).jpg#mediaviewer/File:National_mourning_for_2008_Sichuan_earthquake_victims_-_Tiananmen_Square%2C_Beijing%2C_2008-05-19_%28Cropped%29.jpg. Used under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en)                                                  25 This number is equal to 4% of China’s GDP (4.522 trillion USD) of that same year (World Bank Group, 2013) and more than 10% of Canada’s GDP (1.6 trillion USD) of that same year (Statistics Canada, 2013). 98  Figure 3.5 Vigil for 5/12 Sichuan earthquake victims at Rice University  Figure X. By Qianshuo, retrieved from https://flic.kr/p/4NP9c5. Used under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerives 2.0 Generic (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/)   Piao (2008) states that the earthquake had the effect of bringing together Chinese people worldwide (Piao, 2008). The main pressure on the central government to finish the reconstruction quickly came from inside China. People throughout the country hoped that the central government could carry out the reconstruction swiftly, smoothly and successfully. Furthermore, other countries’ media paid great attention to Wenchuan’s post-earthquake and subsequent reconstruction status (Mo, 2008). Hence, this reconstruction became an opportunity to showcase the government’s abilities to the world.  99  3.2.2 “Move heaven and earth to rescue earthquake survivors” Immediately after the earthquake, Hu Jing Tao, announced that the government will “move heaven and earth to rescue the earthquake survivors” (Mo, 2008, p. A1). This was the Chinese President’s first public response to the Wenchuan earthquake (Mo, 2008). Two days after the earthquake, the United Nations Children's Fund (2008) reported that the Chinese government officially had accepted international aid. This was also the first time that China requested international aid in time of crisis (Huang & Zhao, 2010).   A local postman, in his forties, whose town had been totally cut off as soon as the earthquake struck (its telecom and road systems were completely destroyed by the earthquake), described his experience during the emergency rescue:  The director of Dongqi factory26, utilized a special military satellite phone to alert the central and provincial governments of the terrible conditions in our town. That night, about eight hours after the earthquake, several helicopters airdropped food, water and other basic necessities into our town. The next day, a rescue team, including soldiers, doctors and nurses arrived on foot. (15-Hanxin-R-WS+WI)  Due to the collapsing infrastructure in the rural areas, this devastating earthquake immediately cut off all connection between many villages and towns with the outside. Most of these isolated villages and towns were located in the worst-hit area, which were in urgent need of support from outside to save and transfer the injured. The rescue work conducted in these areas was the most challenging that took place during the emergency stage (see Figure 3.6).                                                  26 Dongqi factory is a government-run factory, which is located in the town of Hanwang, Mianzhu, Sichuan. 100  Figure 3.6 汶川大地震,都江堰一名老妇被困 50 小时后,成功获消防人员救出  [An elderly woman was rescued after being trapped for over 50 hours. Dujiangyan, 2008 Sichuan earthquake].     Figure X. By Courtesy of Miniwiki.org, retrieved from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sichuan_earthquake_save..JPG. In the Public Domain.  A Chinese documentary “For Lives”, which was filmed in commemoration of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army’s immediate response, captures the nature of the professional rescuers’ performance:   Thirteen minutes after the earthquake, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army launched its emergency rescue plan. 101  One hour after the earthquake struck, 1,600 troops were participating in the rescue work. Seventy-two hours into the disaster, more than 146,000 soldiers parachuted down into the epicenters themselves or arrived as near to them as possible.  Most of the road systems leading into the epicenter had been completely destroyed.  Many soldiers sacrificed their lives during the rescue work, as they were killed as a result of aftershocks that caused buildings to collapse on them or from lethal consequences from other accidents (August First Film Studio, 2008).  The immediate rapid response to the earthquake reflected the Chinese government’s capability to deal with public crisis (Chang, 2007). To show immediate official support at the top, 20 minutes after the earthquake, President Hu Jing Tao, released the rescue order, putting the military rescue operation in gear (Zhang, 2008a). At the same time, Premier Wen Jia Bao left Beijing, “only 13 minutes after the earthquake” and arrived 4 hours 12 minutes later, in Dujiangyan, the closest city to the epicenter, to oversee the rescue (Elegant, 2008, p. 1). Two hours after the earthquake, the National Disaster Reduction Committee put in place a first level alert of the National Emergency Rescue for Natural Disaster Relief. The Ministry of Civil Affairs ordered a shipment of 5,000 tents from the nearest National Pool of Disaster Relief Materials Reserve, which is in Xi’an, Shanxi Province (Zhang, 2008b).   Table 3.2 Premier ministers’ responses to four earthquakes (Liu, 2013) Earthquakes Xingtian Earthquake Tangshan Earthquake Wenchuan Earthquake Ya’an Earthquake Disaster Date March 8, 1966 July 28, 1976 May 12, 2008 April 20, 2013 Premier Ministers Zhou En Lai Hua Guo Feng Wen Jia Bao Li Ke Qiang Premier Ministers’ post-earthquake times of arrival to the quake-hit areas  2 days 8 days 4 hours 12 minutes 5 hours 12 minutes 102  Table 3.2 (Liu, 2013) lists the comparative times that leaders arrived at the epicenters, after the four major earthquakes that have struck, since the beginning of the People’s Republic of China. After the Xingtai earthquake, it took Premier Minister Zhou En Lai two days to reach the epicenter, due to the collapse of the road system leading into the area (“Xingtai Earthquake,” n.d.). The Tangshan earthquake took place during one of the saddest and formidable periods in the history of the People’s Republic China. Two well-respected leaders, Zhou En Lai and Mao Zedong died just before and just after that earthquake (“Tangshan Earthquake,” n.d.), and it took place in the same year that the Cultural Revolution ended, so, it was, as well, a period of extreme social turmoil. Mao’s successor, Hua Guo Feng, did not get to personally survey the Tangshan area until eight days after that disaster (Palmer, 2012), which was complained about by the local residents (Palmer, 2012). At the time, the survivors of the Tangshan earthquake protested that the government’s response was slower than the governmental response that had followed the Xingtai earthquake in 1966 (Liu, 2013). On April 20, 2013, Premier Minister Li Ke Qiang’s response time in getting to the Ya’an earthquake site from Beijing was about 5 hours (“Ya’an earthquake,” n.d.).  A Japanese journalist, Kato Yoshikazu (2008), who was covering the rescue work after the Wenchuan earthquake, stated the Chinese government’s response was faster, more efficient and more successful than the Japanese government’s previous performance in the same or similar situations, even though Japan had accumulated an abundance of rescue experience throughout its history of struggling with natural disasters, especially earthquakes. There is an obvious difference in the economy, politics, culture, technology and the particular local conditions of each earthquake. Also, of course, there are varied reasons for the different governmental 103  responses that cannot be explained with simplistic data, such as time of arrival only. However, the ever shortening of the response times reflects the Chinese central government’s improving ability to respond.   Fast and efficient rescue work demonstrates a country’s ability during the time of emergency, however, the government’s ongoing abilities, in political, economic and diplomatic arenas, must be proven by the effectiveness of the long-term reconstruction work (Wolensky & Wolensky, 1990). Three months after the earthquake, the central government appointed 19 developed provinces and municipalities, from the eastern and central parts of the country, to assist and cooperate in the reconstruction and long-term recovery of particular localities of the quake-hit areas. Jiang and Dai (2009) articulate that as far as China’s international standing, the entire post-disaster reconstruction can be viewed as a “reputation issue”. The reasons are, 1) as Huang and Lu (2011) illustrate, the Chinese central government wanted to be seen as one of the most efficient governments worldwide. In order to prove that, China felt it would have to break the world record in the speed of the rehabilitation, accomplishing its post-disaster reconstruction as swiftly and productively as possible, in order to boost the central government’s international reputation. 2) According to Mo (2008), the public media were able to utilize this world record, as well, to show the Chinese citizens how powerful their government is, in order to increase the citizens’ confidence in the government.  3.3  Moving from tragic to heroic Returning the survivors’ lives to a “new normal” is an important task to accomplish during the recovery stage (Tierney & Oliver-Smith, 2012). Three years following the earthquake, after 104  submitting an impressive post-disaster reconstruction report to the world, Liu (2011, p. A11) argued in the stated-owned public medium, the Guangming Daily, that the excellent reconstruction achievements had already encouraged the earthquake survivors to move from “tragic to heroic”.   3.3.1 Showpiece cities and towns Following the official announcement of the accomplishment of the reconstruction after the Wenchuan earthquake, almost all the news focused on the cities and towns that had suffered the most during the disaster27. The town of Shuimo (Figure 3.7) and the new cities of Wenchuan (Figure 3.8), Maoxian (Figure 3.9) and Beichuan (Figure 3.10), sprang up on the post-disaster reconstruction stage with dazzling structures and embellishment. The fact is that all these “showcase” towns and cities belong to the category of small-scale town or city because of their small populations. However, in almost every one of these cities, large, and sometimes huge facilities such as arenas (Figure 3.11), colleges (Figure 3.12), museums (Figure 3.13), libraries (Figure 3.14) and exhibition centers (Figure 3.15) were constructed. All these structures could be photographed perfectly from an aerial view or other far-view perspectives (Figure 3.16). From a planning perspective, the extent of the scale of these endeavors in the small towns were not useful or needed because of the small populations.                                                   27 These cities and towns, which were the worst-hit, had the greatest numbers of deaths and injures and had the largest amount of public media attention focused on them.  105  Figure 3.7 Sample of a showpiece town, Shuimo town (photograph taken by author)    Figure 3.8 Street view of the rebuilt City of Wenchuan (left) (photograph taken by author) Figure 3.9 View of the rebuilt City of Maoxian (right) (photograph taken by author)     106  Figure 3.10 On a street of new Beichuan (photograph taken by author)  Figure 3.11 A stadium in the rebuilt city of Mianzhu (photograph taken by author)  Figure 3.12 The new Beichuan Normal College (photograph taken by author)  107  Figure 3.13 The Wenchuan Earthquake Museum (photograph taken by author)  Figure 3.14 The new Beichuan Library (photograph taken by author)  Figure 3.15 The new Mianzhu Exhibition Center (photograph taken by author)   108  Figure 3.16 Far-view of the new town of Hongbai (photograph taken by author)    A famous architect from Chengdu, Liu Jia Kun, used the concept of “airdrop” (as though they were dropped intact from the sky, with no consideration to their surroundings) to describe these buildings because: 1) They were designed by architects who were not from the immediate area and therefore did not fit into the local physical or social environment. 2) The building materials were imported from other provinces and even from outside of China. 3) These buildings lacked local, cultural features and were unsuitable for the local climate. 4) The high maintenance fees of the buildings became a new burden to the local residents (28-Chengdu-O-WI). All these modern structures immediately appeared on the post-disaster reconstruction stages, making the quake-hit rural areas appear increasing modernly and urbane.  Some new towns and several residential communities in some cities built for the relocated earthquake survivors, such as Yinxiu and Maoxian, have become “dead towns” or “dead cities” with low occupation rates or “commuter towns” where residents only go to sleep at night and during the day return to their partially destroyed original town to work (23-SAU-R-WS; 109  12-Sanlong-R-WS+WI). The fact is that the rural dwellers that were relocated into these small-sized cities or towns were not able to become familiar with urban life in such a short period. Thus, some of them chose to return to their original places (25%) or seek refuge with their relatives (20%) who still lived in the rural areas, or commute back and forth the between the rural and urban areas (45%) to resume their farming work and come back to sleep in the town at night (23-SAU-R-WS; 24-SAU-R-WS).  Actually, in some completed towns and cities, only the buildings that line both sides of the main street were actually rebuilt or redecorated. As described by a graduate student from Sichuan Agricultural University, “behind these new beautiful buildings, you could find the reality: wild grass, shabby shelters and architectural rubbish.” (23-SAU-R-WS) (Figure 3.17). Also, very importantly, the re-establishment of social services has greatly lagged behind the physical reconstruction. As expressed by a freshman from the same university, “there is no bus service in my huge, new town, no community service in my new community, no playground for children after school…” (24-SAU-R-WS).  110  Figure 3.17 Sample of nicely appearing street facade (photograph taken by author)    Figure X. The top left image shows the front of the buildings. The bottom left image and right image show the backyards behind these buildings, which were not rebuilt.  These showpiece towns and cities filled the public eye. When I went into the distant rural areas that were far away from the central cities, however, I saw the massive problems that have continued to persist until today. Problems such as the absence of quality roads remain for these areas. Indeed, the highway from the Dujiangyan to Wenchuan (which was projected to be finished in three months) was not yet finished during the period that I was conducting my fieldtrip in the autumn of 2012. During that period, I witnessed some earthquake survivors still living in temporary tents or unrepaired and dreadfully dangerous houses (Figure 3.18).  111  Figure 3.18 Sample of a destroyed house where people still lived (photograph taken by author)   3.3.2 Behind the “splendid” In order to finish these cities and towns successfully, a huge majority of earthquake survivors were “forced” to relocate into new places28. Relocation is defined as “moving from one environment to another for various reasons” (Burnette, 1986, p. 8), including geographical, political and social reasons. In the cases I investigated, the earthquake survivors underwent residential relocation due to the fact that their original home place became unsuitable for the prospect of reconstruction. Also, their relocation was sometimes the result of the government’s interventions. Their relocation was mostly because of environmental instability and political issues29.                                                  28 This issue will be discussed in Chapter 6. 29 The political issues will be addressed in Chapter 6. 112  After the post-earthquake relocation, the earthquake survivors had to become familiar with their new physical environment. Their daily activities involved a host of new place-making activities. Socially, they needed to re-establish the human-relation network within their new community and finally begin to recreate a new sense of home. In order for a reestablishment of the sense of home to take place, two kinds of new relationships needed to be established: between the residents and their physical environment as well as among the residents themselves.   The connections between the residents and their physical surroundings include the residents’ identification with their new surroundings. Also, from an administration perspective, this connection can be seen in the way the residents keep the new community’s operation in good working order. In this regard, it was a challenging endeavor for rural people. For example, almost all the newly built communities in the rural areas were equipped with new service facilities such as libraries, community centers, and activity rooms. The local people did not have experience with such facilities and had to learn how to operate and maintain these facilities. While learning these functional and administrative activities, the people developed their relationships among themselves and finally contributed to the creation of a sense of home in the new residential communities, eventually connecting relationships throughout the larger community.   If well the swiftly accomplished reconstruction solved some urgent problems, such as supplying housing for the large numbers of homeless survivors immediately after the disaster, it triggered some problems. Problems were caused by the neglect of critical aspects, such as the lack of proper consideration of earthquake survivors’ viewpoints, the low quality of the new buildings 113  and mistakes in the selection of geographical locations. The earthquake survivors expressed concerns about how, during the periods of short-term reconstruction and long-term recovery, their local governments were more concerned with presenting an image of security and prosperity to the central government rather than with meeting the survivors’ basic needs (Zhu, 2012). The central government seemed to be invested in selling an image of efficiency and speed to Chinese citizens and the world at large to promote its reputation (Huang & Xiang, 2011).  Post-disaster reconstruction is a challenge for nations worldwide (Kolbert, 2009). Facing the same problem, how have other countries, worldwide, coped with the same and similar situations? How can previous Chinese experience regarding post-disaster reconstruction be referenced? By making comparisons (such as social, cultural, economic and political) between the Wenchuan case and other international and domestic cases, a better understanding can be gained in order to address the challenges of the Wenchuan case.  3.4 International and domestic experience regarding post-disaster reconstruction  This section examines international and domestic experiences with post-disaster reconstruction in order to make a comparison with the unique characteristics of the post-disaster reconstruction after the Wenchuan earthquake.  3.4.1 International experience  Due to their geography, some countries, such as Japan, Chile and Indonesia, are prone to natural disasters. From dealing with these occurrences throughout their history, these countries have 114  accumulated a great amount of experience regarding pre-disaster preparation and post-disaster reconstruction and recovery.   Indeed, in terms of scale, the reconstruction of the city of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina was the largest scale reconstruction in the West at that point (“Ed Blakely,” n.d.)30. Even as the most powerful and largest economy worldwide (Bergmann, 2011), the United States projected to take 8 to 11 years to finish the physical reconstruction of New Orleans (Kates, Colten, & Leatherman, 2006). Japan, as one of the most earthquake-prone countries, has obtained much experience in pre-earthquake preparation as well as post-earthquake recovery and reconstruction. In Japan, earthquake preparation and survival skills are required courses even in elementary school education. The Kobe and Tohoku earthquakes were two of the worst earthquakes in Japan’s history (“Kobe earthquake,” n.d.; “Tohoku earthquake,” n.d.). The reconstruction process after the Kobe earthquake, including social and physical aspects, lasted for at least 10 years (Edgington, 2010; Shaw & Goda, 2004). More recently, two years after the Tohoku earthquake (2011), the Japanese government had only finished the emergency rescue and short-term reconstruction, and was just beginning to embark on the long-term recovery phase.   Possessing powerful economies and abundant practical experience, there is no doubt that the United States and Japan have the capacity of speeding up their reconstruction process. However, they recognized the need to take time to pay attention to all the advance survey required for successful short and long-term decisions and rehabilitative activities of a reconstruction. In                                                 30 The post-earthquake reconstruction after the Wenchuan earthquake was the largest scale reconstruction in the East (Hu, 2008). 115  contrast to these two cases, the Chinese central government chose to contract the preparation time and reconstruction period.   3.4.2 Previous domestic experience China, which is a disaster-prone country, has past experience regarding post-disaster reconstruction. Indeed, the Tangshan earthquake (1976) was among the deadliest earthquakes in China’s history. The description of its reconstruction here will illustrate how the economic, political and cultural historical development affected the reconstruction process after that earthquake. Also the analysis here of the Taiwan “921” earthquake (1999) will compare Taiwan and Mainland China in how their different political backgrounds, but similar cultural backgrounds, affected reconstruction31.   3.4.2.1 Reconstruction after Tangshan earthquake  3.4.2.1.1 The social, political and economic background On July 28, 1976, the Tangshan earthquake’s first shock hit with a magnitude of 7.8 and, then around 16 hours later, there was a major 7.1 magnitude aftershock (“Tangshan earthquake,” n.d.). The official death toll was 242,419 (Spignesi, 2002), but other reports were that the actual death toll was much higher, ranging from 650,000 to 779,000, based on the census data of the population density in and around that area (Cheng, Lestz, & Spence, 1999).   The affected area of the Tangshan earthquake (primarily a flat, plain area) took up about 30,000 km2 (“Tangshan Earthquake,” n.d.). Both rural and urban areas were affected. This area was                                                 31 The issue of local participation in the post-earthquake reconstruction will be examined in Chapter 5. 116  one-fifteenth the size of the area affected by the Wenchuan earthquake, which ranged more than 440,000 km2 throughout a mountainous expanse (“Wenchuan Earthquake,” n.d.). The worst hit area of the Tangshan earthquake encompassed about fifty-two square kilometers. The direct economic loss reached to 10 million U.S. dollars (Stoltman, Lidstone, & Dechano, 2004). In contrast, the direct economic loss caused by the Wenchuan earthquake was about 20 billion U.S. dollars, being two thousand times that of the Tangshan earthquake (“Wenchuan Earthquake,” n.d.). Furthermore, demographically speaking, almost all the victims of the Tangshan earthquake belonged to the Han ethnicity. As mentioned in Chapter 2, the people affected by the Wenchuan disaster belonged to at least five different ethnic groups. Hence, the cultural diversity issues that had to be dealt with were different in each of these scenarios and possibly made their reconstruction issues different.  The Tangshan disaster occurred before the Chinese “Open-Door” policy period began (1980). Prior to 1980, the total GDP of China was very low and the provincial economic differences were not as pronounced as they became by the period of the Wenchuan disaster (“China’s GDP,” n.d.). The Chinese government released very little information about the Tangshan Earthquake (taking place in 1976) and most information was largely kept under wraps even within China (Han, Xu, Liu, & Shi, 2013, p. 166). The Chinese government declined almost all the international aid and insisted on self-reliance (Spence, 1990). The main reconstruction work, after the Tangshan earthquake, was completely conducted by the People’s Liberation Army, state-owned enterprises and a few volunteers who came from nearby cities and towns.  The Chinese government proposed the general plan and a new building code for Tangshan’s post-earthquake reconstruction. Due to the large number of deaths, there were not enough human 117  resources among the local survivors to carry out the reconstruction work. Thus, the Chinese central government relocated tens of thousands of workers from a few large state-owned factories.  Mr. Shi32, in his forties, told me that during the Tangshan earthquake, he originally worked for the Number Twenty-three Metallurgy Factory, which was a large factory, located in the city of Baotou in Inner Mongolia. Affiliated with this factory was a county-sized population, including people from all walks of life, including teachers and doctors. All these people had come there from other provinces throughout China. After the Tangshan earthquake, his entire factory and the population from Baotao were moved to the city of Tangshan. A new district was built close to the old destroyed district of Tangshan. The new district was an industrial district and contained industrial buildings, hospitals, schools, and so on. The people who moved into the new district included those from Baotao, survivors, as well as new immigrants from throughout China (32-Old Town-R-WI).  The problem of unbalanced economic development among different districts within a province, as well as among provinces, in general, was considerable at the time of the Wenchuan earthquake (“Historical GDP of the People’s Republic of China,” n.d.). During Tangshan’s post-earthquake recovery, the economy and infrastructure were very weak. Post-earthquake economic development could not completely support the fundamental requirements of the physical reconstruction, such as basic shelter and housing, even though there were enough workers (migrants from other provinces), let alone the requirements of social reconstruction, that                                                 32 All names have been changed to pseudonyms to ensure confidentiality. 118  were more subtle and sensitive, such as social service. Hence, the conflict between the local dwellers’ demands and the government’s good intentions was not as obvious after the Tangshan disaster as it was after the Wenchuan earthquake.   3.4.2.1.2 Low quality material groundwork Since the late 1970s’ under the Communist regime, all property has been owned by the Chinese government at all levels (Kung & Liu, 1997). The government owns all the land and structures on the land, while the residents have the right only to use the land and structures. Indeed, in the urban areas, industrial enterprises commonly build communities for their employees. The employees obtain their housing based on seniority and other factors33. At the time of the Tangshan earthquake, in the rural areas, the building of the farmer’s houses was funded by the central government channeled down to the local governments. Usually supervisors at the village level or even a lower level team in a village and/or a town were actually in charge of the construction. All the residents had the right to use these properties but did not have the right to own the land. No commercial real estate market existed during that period. The average incomes of both rural and urban residents were incredibly low compared to that of both rural and urban residents in Sichuan Province during the Wenchuan earthquake period.   The situation had completely changed by the time of the Wenchuan earthquake. The commercial real estate market had been growing for several years and was becoming mature. Furthermore, with the quick rise of the GDP, a certain amount of the population was able to afford to purchase                                                 33 Almost all these enterprises have been state-owned since the inception of the People’s Republic of China. More recently there have been some that are privately owned. 119  commercial properties34. However, at the time of the Wenchuan earthquake, the land was still owned by the government according to Chinese constitutional law. Nevertheless, the Wenchuan earthquake survivors had more freedom of choice regarding their relocation than did the survivors of the Tangshan earthquake, 30 years prior.  The housing in rural areas, 30 years ago, was the traditional, one-story house with private yard and private indoor or outdoor washroom. There was no indoor plumbing, no gas, or heating systems. The power system was not stable and interruptions in the power supply happened frequently. Water was obtained from a well. Dry branches and straw were used to build fire for cooking. On the other hand, in urban areas, residential communities built by state-owned factories, which were close to the workplace, were growing. The main housing style was the one-story attached community house. One family unit had one or two rooms. Each family built their own private kitchen attached to their houses or used a community kitchen (30-Kaiping District-R-WI). The city infrastructure systems, such as electricity, were much more efficient than in the rural areas. Other systems, however, such as water supply and sewage, were in the planning stage or at the beginning of construction. In the cities, there were public washrooms but they were not equipped with showers. Every factory that built its own community had its own bathhouse for its employees as well as for public use (31-Fengnan District-R-WI).   Apartment buildings were just starting to appear. One middle-aged man, who was 16 years old when he witnessed the Tangshan earthquake, described his newly-built apartment after the earthquake as follows:                                                 34 The residents could only own the right of use rather than actually own the land or property. 120  Two months before the Tangshan earthquake, my family moved into a new apartment in a three-story building, which was built by my father’s factory. It included a private kitchen and bathroom, which had running water and a sink. I guess only about a quarter of the people were able to live in this kind of apartment in a town during that period. (31-Fengnan District-R-WI)  Tangshan, which used to be an industrial city, was actually located in a low-risk earthquake region. Hence, the earthquake building code was mainly applied to some industrial buildings and rarely for residential ones. Therefore, the structure of the residential apartments was not strong enough to resist a catastrophe of great magnitude. The apartment-dwelling survivors of the Tangshan earthquake were mostly the people who lived on the top floor of the apartment buildings, because all the floors collapsed onto each other all the way down to the ground after the earthquake and only the top floor unit dwellers could survive the collapse of the building structures.   Overall, the average living condition of the local Tangshan people was very low. Multi-storied residential buildings were not common and most residential housing was shabby. More than half of the people in Tangshan did not have running water nor a separate washroom in their home. When they moved into the new, post-disaster apartments, the infrastructure was improved dramatically. Thus, most of them were willing to accept their new life. Having a new apartment was a dramatic improvement over their previous conditions, but only supplied the very basic requirements such as indoor plumbing and a kitchen; the physical condition of the new apartments was very low as compared to today’s standards. Therefore, in the post-disaster reconstruction and long-term recovery, the new dwellings were improved over the survivors’ 121  original dwellings. Residents did not have demands beyond their basic needs, such as greening, landscape, and social activities. The fact that the people did not have high demands for aesthetic improvement of their environment was also a result of the policies against beautification during the transition period in China.   During an almost 30-year development, up to the period of the Wenchuan earthquake, the infrastructure in both the rural and urban areas in Sichuan Province improved steadily. Although the infrastructural conditions have improved in the remote rural areas of Sichuan Province, they do not compare with the urban areas. Therefore, the local residents and officials hoped that the reconstruction after the Wenchuan earthquake would advance their local infrastructural condition, but the results have not been very good (Zhu, 2012).  In relation to the comparison made above, the development of the social, political, economic and material foundation that transpired after the Tangshan earthquake dramatically affected the reconstruction and recovery. Zheng Zhong Zhao, the previous Primary Chairman of the Planning Bureau of Tangshan, recalled that the primary reconstruction plan that was made following the earthquake allotted one year for preparation and four years for reconstruction (“Tangshan Earthquake,” n.d.). However, all the related reconstruction projects actually took 10 to 12 years to finish due to the low development in China at that time (Yang, Du, & Fan, 2006). The 2008 Sichuan earthquake had a comparable measurement to the Tangshan earthquake on the Richter scale at 8.0 in magnitude. It, however, occurred in a mountainous region where relief efforts were noticeably hampered by the difficult topography of the area. That said, the Sichuan earthquake had a much quicker and more organized response system than did the one that 122  occurred in Tangshan, as the political, social and technological environments had developed to a stage in which there could be a better response. The Chinese government allowed international aid in and opened media access to the disaster area. Meanwhile, the government established the policy that some provinces would be appointed, one-on-one, to help a particular town or city in the earthquake-hit area with the post-disaster reconstruction and long-term recovery.   3.4.2.2 Taiwan after 921 Earthquake35: “A volunteers’ island” On 21 September 1999, an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.6 struck the central region of Taiwan. The epicenter was located close to the town of Chi-Chi, Nantou County. The number of deaths was estimated at 2,470, with 11,305 injured, and more than 100,000 structures destroyed. The financial losses were estimated to be at US$11.5 million (“ 921 Earthquake,” n.d.). This was the biggest earthquake that occurred on the island during the twentieth century (Shin & Teng, 2001), and the second-deadliest quake (after the 1935 Hsinchu-Taichung earthquake) to occur on Taiwan in recorded history (“921 Earthquake,” n.d.).   3.4.2.2.1 Geographical, economic and political differences The area of the island of Taiwan (36,190 km2) is only a little bigger than Mainland China’s smallest island province of Hainan (33,210 km2). The lack of varying geographical boundaries throughout the areas of Taiwan causes them to share the same and/or similar cultures and customs. However, as mentioned before, the topographical and cultural differences in the mountainous areas of the Wenchuan earthquake caused the reconstruction after the earthquake to be more complicated than that following the “921” earthquake in Taiwan.                                                  35 The earthquake happened on 21 September, 1999. Hence, it was called “921” earthquake as well (“921 Earthquake,” n.d.) 123  Furthermore, the economic development throughout the island of Taiwan is similar. Thus, economic difference would not present as a dramatic challenge to the cooperation of various provinces in the reconstruction stage, as was the case with post-earthquake Wenchuan. Taiwan did not have a healthy insurance system or market at the time of the quake. In rural areas, local inhabitants did not have any insurance for emergency (Wu & Lindell, 2004), conditions which were much similar to the people in mainland of China36. However, Asians have a practice of saving money (Taiwan Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics, 2000). Therefore, excluding the government funding (government payments for death, injury or housing collapse), personal savings were the major financial resource for private reconstruction after the Taiwan earthquake (Wu & Lindell, 2004). Furthermore, the government also encouraged the earthquake survivors to apply for a special “low-interest” loan from the commercial banks or even a “non-interest” loan from the government. However, under some stringent conditions, the local residents’ applications were not easily approved (Wu & Lindell, 2004). This situation was the same during the Wenchuan earthquake reconstruction37. Consequently, in terms of the financial issue, survivors of both disasters were under similar conditions.                                                  36 As mentioned in Chapter 1, the amount of people who had coverage of home insurance and health insurance in the quake-hit rural area in the Sichuan Province was very low. During my field trip, I did not meet any local residents who even knew that home insurance existed. After the earthquake, the Chinese government offered certain types of insurance (such as health insurance and retirement insurance) mostly to the earthquake survivors who lost their children in the earthquake. This issue will be discussed in Chapter 4 and Chapter 5.  37 The earthquake survivors, who used to live in villages, towns and cities, that were rebuilt to become those showpiece towns, who did not moved into the government rebuilt units and chose to rebuild by themselves, needed more funding than what the government provided. The limited funding offered by government was much less then what their practical needs of reconstruction demanded. Meanwhile, even the ones who moved into the government-built new communities, almost for free, still needed more funding to finish the interior of their homes, because, as mentioned before, the governments only finished the outside (this issue will be examined in depth in Chapter 6). Furthermore, some earthquake survivors, whose family and livelihood were completely destroyed by the earthquake, still needed funding to recover their lives. In this case, applying for the low-interest loan would be one way to get the funding.  124  Wu & Lindell (2004) argue that almost all the levels of government in Taiwan lacked experience regarding pre-disaster preparation and post-disaster reconstruction due to the false sense of security that had developed from not having had a catastrophe for more than 50 years. Mainland China, too, was taken by surprise, as it had been 30 years since there had been a major earthquake. How to respond to this emergency and cope with the post-disaster reconstruction and long-tern recovery were challenges for both governments.  3.4.2.2.2 “A volunteers’ island”  NGOs played a pivotal role in the post-disaster reconstruction of the “9.21” earthquake. Dr. Qiu Chang Tai, a professor in disaster management at Taipei University, described the NGOs participation and achievements in the post-earthquake reconstruction after the 9.21 earthquake during an interview, conducted by the state-owned newspaper, the Southern Metropolis Weekly.  The Taiwan government proposed a sample of a new house, which cost about 1,000,000 NTD38 (around 33, 000 USD) and asked for the local inhabitants’ suggestions. Although the design looked attractive on drawings, the local dwellers strongly held that it was not practical, due to the loss of their traditional architectural and cultural characteristics. Additionally, the cost of construction was much higher than that of their traditional homes. Meanwhile, a domestic NGO offered its plan for the same project. After several conversations [with local dwellers], as well as intensive field studies, this NGO focused on the practical demands of the local residents and used the local architectural styles, layouts and materials that protected the home’s and community’s                                                 38 NTD stands for the New Taiwan Dollar, the official currency of Taiwan. 125  local traditional characteristics, as well as decreased the construction cost. Finally, this governmental proposal was replaced by that NGO’s plan (Wu, 2008).   The Taiwan 921 earthquake became a turning point in regard to social services, because a large number of NGOs and volunteers, from home and abroad, were involved in the reconstruction (Wu, 2008). Zhu’s (1999) post-reconstruction survey shows that earthquake survivors assessed the government’s performance, over the course of the entire reconstruction process at 57.91%, while the NGOs performance was assessed at 93.2% (Zhu, 1999). Chen and Wang (2010) said that the government considered the NGOs’ contribution toward the social development as positive and therefore offered them more freedom and opportunities to directly participate in the post-disaster reconstruction. Generally, NGOs usually took charge of one and/or several specific tasks, leaving only enough time and energy to make well-rounded considerations, in order that their work would be more acceptable to the local people. Furthermore, as NGOs were not being directly influenced by the government, the NGOs could consider better people’s practical requirements in detail, such as cultural tradition, economic capability, long-term development trajectories. Thus, local dwellers, at that time in Taiwan, thought NGOs were much more trustworthy and reliable than the government (Wu, 2008).   As mentioned earlier, because of the structure of the Chinese central government’s special reconstruction policy, NGOs were able to contribute more during the emergency stage than during the reconstruction and long-term recovery stages after the Wenchuan earthquake. The NGOs’ participation in the reconstruction and long-term recovery stages was confined to social service, such as psychological counseling, education and technological support. Meanwhile, their 126  participation was only conducted in some areas and could not exert effort throughout all the quake-hit areas. Furthermore, due to centralized governmental control, freedom was not offered to most of the NGOs, so that the NGOs were not able to give as much assistance as they would have had they had a greater say (Huang, Zhou, & Wei, 2011).   3.4.2.2.3 Local resident-oriented post-disaster reconstruction and recovery The government of Taiwan launched a five-year project to redevelop the quake-hit area, working to develop the infrastructure system, agriculture, industry and service, in order to improve the quality of human life (Central Emergency Operation Center, 2000). Some projects, for example, the Fuguimingmen Community, in the town of Lin, of Zhanghua County, did not begin to rebuild until about five years after the earthquake (Hong, 2004). Some other places have taken even longer, taking about 10 years or more to get going, and some still have not solved their problems (Zhang, 2009).   The government of Taiwan was not inclined to force the social recovery in a hasty way (Wu, 2008), they slowed it down and carefully dealt with the social issues of the reconstruction. After that earthquake, due to the fact that many of the quake-hit areas, especially the epicenters, were located in scenic areas, the government encouraged the local residents to resume their tourism businesses to redevelop the local economy. The government offered these areas some economic support as well as completing the infrastructure reconstruction. During this period, the local dwellers were able to carry on, as before with their traditional culture, as their original place and their way of life was a tourist attraction prior to the earthquake. Moreover, the local residents’ tourism regeneration was one of the best methods to recover the social system. Under this 127  condition, the famous land and waterscape of Sun-Moon Lake, which is located in the epicenter, was totally rebuilt in about eight years. Other parts of the reconstruction, even now, are still continuing (more than nine years after the disaster) (Wu, 2008).  I summarize all the basic information of the cases compared above in Table 3.339. From Table 3.3, it can be clearly observed that the Chinese central government used less than one third of the entire time allotted to complete the rescue work and the reconstruction projects after Wenchuan earthquake, although there were more deaths and affected people as a result of this earthquake, and so many more reconstruction projects to accomplish, as compared to all the other listed disasters. As mentioned before, Zhao’s (2010) argument, published in the state-owned newspaper, the Sichuan Daily, the Chinese government put forth that the international problem of post-disaster reconstruction had been successfully solved by China. However, its citizens are still paying its bills.                                                 39 This table only displays some basic information concerning selected cases; this information relates to only several issues regarding the disaster and reconstruction. Other crucial issues, such as decision-making, participation, recovery planning and design will be scrupulously discussed in later chapters. 128  Table 3.3 Basic information of several disasters worldwide    Disaster Wenchuan Earthquake Tangshan Earthquake  Taiwan 921 Earthquake Hurricane Katrina  Kobe Earthquake Tohoku Earthquake Date May 12, 2008  July 28, 1976  September 21, 1999  August 23, 2005 January 17, 1995 March 14, 2011 Epicenter(s)  Wenchuan, Beichuan, Qingchuan, Sichuan Province Tangshan, Hebei Province Jiji, Nantou County N/A Awaji Island Tohoku Country P.R. China P.R. China  Taiwan The United States Japan Japan Richter Scale 8.1 7.8 7.6 N/A 7.3 9.7 Casualties 69,195 655,000 2,415 1,833 6,434 15,881 Affected People 15 million _ 0.1million 15 million 0.3 million 1,04 million Economic Loss 20 billion 10 billion 0.01billion 108 billion 100 billion  14.5 to 34.6 billion Affected Area (Km2)  440,442 52 90.5 States of Louisiana, Mississippi. Florida, Georgia, and Alabama _ _ Rescues NGOs, GOs, Volunteers, International Aid People’s Liberation Army, State-owned enterprise and volunteers  NGOs, GOs, Volunteers, International Aid NGOs, GOs, Volunteers, International Aid NGOs, GOs, Volunteers, International Aid NGOs, GOs, Volunteers, International Aid 129  Disaster Wenchuan Earthquake Tangshan Earthquake  Taiwan 921 Earthquake Hurricane Katrina  Kobe Earthquake Tohoku Earthquake International Aid  Accepted Declined Accepted Accepted Declined Accepted Reconstruction Year(s) 3 12 10 8 to 11 9 In process  (Data resources: “Wenchuan Earthquake,” n.d.; “Tangshan Earthquake,” n.d.; “Taiwan 921 Earthquake,” n.d.; “Hurricane Katrina,” n.d.; “Kobe Earthquake,” n.d.; “Tohoku Earthquake,” n.d.)130  3.5 How to coordinate social and physical reconstruction? In reflecting upon China’s post-disaster milieu, I have re-examined post-disaster reconstruction theory. The objective of post-disaster recovery and reconstruction is to aid victims to return to normal life, both physically and mentally (Tibbalds, 1984; Mileti, 1999). Consequently, the two spheres of reconstruction are the physical (material) reconstruction and the social reconstruction (Oliver-Smith, 2005).  Based on the above review, an examination of previous post-disaster reconstruction work, and the case studies I conducted after the Wenchuan earthquake, I argue that the main problem of post-disaster reconstruction after the Wenchuan disaster is that physical reconstruction has been disconnected from social reconstruction. At best, the slower pace of social reconstruction and sometimes its obvious lack made it much more difficult for the relocated people to recognize and accept their new physical surroundings. In the end, this issue impacted on the development of the people’s new sense of home (Schwab & APA, 1998; Kamel & Loukaitou-Sideris, 2004; Oliver-Smith, 2005). According to Corkalo (2002), it is obvious that the limited social reconstruction operative after the Wenchuan earthquake saw: 1) at the provincial level, no governmental rule that guaranteed that the physical and social reconstructions should correspond with each other; 2) at the district level, not enough time to establish district relationships between different 131  social groups (Corkalo, 2002); 3) at the community level, the pre-disaster network of social relationships not being reestablished and new relationships could not be developed due to the very limited amount of social reconstruction; 4) and at the individual level, for all these reasons, the earthquake survivors not being able to develop good attachment to their new community (Corkalo, 2002).   A shared past might be one of the most critical aspects in working towards social renewal (Stover & Weinstein, 2004; Oliver-Smith, 2005). However, can this shared past help with the coordination of the social and physical reconstructions? Moreover, under the strict control of the central government, in what ways have the earthquake survivors and other involved groups participated in the post-disaster reconstruction and recovery, in order to contribute to the social reconstruction? Lastly, what were the underlying causes of the governmental interventions that resulted in the splendid but “unhappy” reconstruction? The following chapters will address these questions in detail.  132  Chapter  4: Memory as Intervention    “When we cannot easily access a memory, it is not because it is not there, but because we are looking in the wrong place.” Cole, 2012, p. 22   Although memory research is attracting an increasing number of Chinese scholars, most of the studies to date have focused mainly on how to protect cultural heritage (Bao, 2004; Zhu, 2006; Zhu, 2007; Wang, Yang & Wu, 2010). Little consideration has been given to memory’s various functions in the process of making places of cultural significance, social meaning or heritage. After the Wenchuan earthquake, Xu Xin Jian (2011), a professor from Sichuan University, suggested that disaster memories should be recovered and that the tendency in China to confront trauma through erasure or silence should be avoided. The Wenchuan Earthquake Reconstruction Act (2008) was a break from the previous way of dealing with disaster in that it encourages the preservation of some earthquake sites with high research and/or educational value and considered issues of trauma recovery. Recently, earthquake parks, urban shelter parks and disaster museums 133  have sprung up, not only in the earthquake-hit area in Sichuan Province, but also across the whole country (Hao, 2009).   In this dissertation, I argue that pre-disaster individual and group memories of daily life and use of spaces can become an important component in fostering actions of place-making in a new living space after disaster. A sense of place is rooted in the emotional and social significance of sites, such as one’s home as well as relationships and livelihood experienced on that site. Accordingly, sense of place shapes the dwellers’ emotional attachments to a physical space (Tuan, 1975). The need to foster the creation of a sense of place, however, was not well considered in the Wenchuan post-quake reconstruction and recovery process (Chan, 2011). Drawing from information collected during workshops and walk-along interviews, this chapter will examine how memory worked and/or was put into action in the earthquake survivors’ relocation process. The chapter explores questions of how memory plays a role in the process of reconstruction. It seeks to shed some light on the ways memories of home assisted the earthquake survivors in their relocation process, because these memories might stimulate some activities that re-establish their sense of home in the new community.   134  4.1 Memory’s role in the three stages of post-disaster reconstruction  In Chapter 1, I explained how the entire process of post-disaster reconstruction was divided into three stages: emergency, reconstruction and long-term recovery (Kamel & Loukaitou-Sideris, 2004). In each of these stages, survivors experienced a particular relationship to the physical environment and the place they currently inhabited. I am interested in exploring the extent to which memories of place informed the survivors throughout each of the three stages. How did memory function in the process of social reconstruction and home making? The participants in my study shared valuable stories during the memory workshops and walk-along interviews about their relationship to place during each of these stages. These stories illustrated how memory functioned in the earthquake survivors’ relocation process, assisting them in reconstructing a sense of home in their new communities. I will examine the role of memory in these three stages respectively.   Specifically, my evaluation of the emergency stage will include analysis of the local residents’ individual and/or intergenerational memories of historical disasters and how they (and their kin and neighbors) survived these previous disasters and preserve a form of disaster knowledge. During the reconstruction stage, I examine how memories of home assisted the earthquake survivors to reestablish their sense of home after their relocation 135  in a new, modern community. In the long-term recovery stage, I describe how some survivors decided to abandon their new, modern homes and returned to their hometown to repair their original homes and re-inhabit them.  4.2 Emergency phase: memory of the disaster and immediate survival The first seventy-two hour period immediately following an earthquake is called the golden period for rescue because, under normal circumstances, seventy-two hours is the longest length of time a person can stay alive without water and food (Jang, Lien & Tsai, 2009). Hence, to rescue as many injured people as quickly as possible is the primary task during the emergency phase. With public safety and the objective of overall security in mind, governments may enforce emergency measures such as placing limitations on trade, services, or mobility, or may have to forcibly move people out of dangerous areas (Ersland, Weisæth, & Sund, 1989). Aside from the governmental emergency measures, memories of past disasters assisted earthquake survivors in Wenchuan to deal with the urgent situation of their own survival, and to some extent, also helped them to support the implementation of the government’s polices. In the following sections I explain these two responses on the part of the survivors to the emergency situation.  136  4.2.1 Background A small town in the mountainous area, close to the epicenter, the city of Wenchuan, was devastated by the earthquake and its aftershocks (see the map of research locations in Chapter 2). Due to the already weak road and telecom systems in this area, the villages and towns of the region lost all contact with the outside world from the moment of the earthquake.   In the first 72 hours, the government utilized helicopters to airdrop drinking water, food, tents, bedding, clothing and other necessities of life to these areas, in order to ensure the local survivors’ essential daily requirements. On the ground, rescue teams, including soldiers, doctors and nurses, carrying simple tools and medicines attempted to reach these isolated areas on foot to get to the injured as quickly as possible.  After several profound aftershocks, the local geographical conditions became more and more unstable and unsafe. Mountain landslides and other secondary disasters were triggered by even small aftershocks. These secondary disasters were extremely dangerous, constantly threatening the earthquake survivors’ lives, as well as the lives of the rescuers.  137  4.2.2 Memory of survival One earthquake survivor I interviewed was a 20-year old university student, whose home was located in a valley near the epicenter. Immediately after the earthquake, her hometown became cut off because the only road coming in or out, as well as the telecom and power systems had been completely destroyed by the earthquake. She witnessed the difficulties of the emergency phase and shared with me the following story.   A team of 12 soldiers reached my village on foot. At that point, my village had already lost contact with the outside. [After the greatest shock], we felt a little bit easy [relieved] when we saw the rescue team approaching…. They [soldiers, doctors and nurses] started up their rescue work immediately upon their arrival. They utilized their limited equipment and some tools borrowed from us. The men in our village helped them to carry out the rescue work. Women, seniors, youth and injured were temporarily taken to the playground of the village’s secondary school… I was a Grade 9 student at that time… My teachers organized all the senior students and directed them to boil water for the rescue team. We tried our best to give them all kinds of information of the local environment, such as where the village clinic used to be, which families were not yet found.   Suddenly, the soldiers asked us, almost 400 villagers, to relocate. Someone said that aftershocks [in this devastated area] could occur at any time and might trigger even worse secondary disasters… [However], most villagers were not willing to move 138  from their village40. Everyone worried: Where will we go? Will it be safe there? Will everything be “fine” during the journey? ...  We were still in shock and horror of what had just occurred. We did not want to leave our village41. We still wanted to look for our relatives. Some of our relatives and friends were still covered under the demolished buildings42… [At that point], several senior villagers suggested that we all go to a place on the other side of the valley that would be ideal and safe to relocate to, because they remembered that their elders went there to avoid floods and landslides in the past. (23-SAU-R-WS)  There was no time to explain the urgency of the situation to all the residents of the village. With the guidance of several adult men from the village, “the rescue team had to force all the survivors to evacuate immediately” to the place that the seniors suggested (Figure 4.1 and Figure 4.2). “That night, a small aftershock triggered a landslide, which entirely destroyed the village” (Figure 4.3 and Figure 4.4). (23-SAU-R-WS)                                                    40 There was no apparent proof of a pending aftershock. 41 There was a lot of protest about this urgent relocation among the earthquake survivors and most of them did not go willingly. 42 The living people who were under the collapsed buildings were still waiting for rescue. 139  Figure 4.1人们冒险从江边的乱石堆中转移  [Sample of an emergency evacuation during the Wenchuan earthquake]  Figure 4.1 has been removed due to copyright restrictions. It showed the earthquake survivors’ emergency evacuation. They were walking on a road on the mountainside that had been completely destroyed by the earthquake and was filled with mud, sand and stones. A raging river flowed below them. Original source:  Sichuan Provincial Department of Commerce. Retrieved from http://www.sccom.gov.cn/xxfb/page/512dz/images/p248-l.jpg    Figure 4.2灾民翻山越岭转移出灾区  [Sample of an emergency evacuation]  Figure 4.2 has been removed due to copyright restrictions. It showed the earthquake survivors being evacuated through the woods. Original source:  Sichuan Provincial Department of Commerce. Retrieved from http://www.sccom.gov.cn/xxfb/page/512dz/images/p254-l.jpg  140  Figure 4.3 A landslide triggered by earthquake destroyed a small village (by Chaoping Hou, used under permission)  Figure 4.4 A landslide destroyed the road (by Chaoping Hou, used under permission)  141  Having escaped from a second disaster, the villagers were grateful to the rescue team. Meanwhile, those seniors who offered the information about the relocation place felt a sense of accomplishment. A senior woman recalled several disasters, including earthquakes, floods and landslides that occurred during their hometown’s history.   … I remember there were several disasters that hit our village before. Some houses were destroyed. Some land sank several inches [below the ground level], but this  small place was never affected by natural disasters in the past… (23-SAU-R-WS)  …I remember my father has a hand-drawn map of the entire valley. He got this from my great-great grandfather. This map showed several important places, including where the good farmland is, where the safe places are43… (24-SAU-R-WS)  …I can clearly recall different children's songs, singing about safe places. Other songs were about different kinds of things about how to deal with emergencies: where to find clean water and food, where to build temporary shelters.  Things like that… (24-SAU-R-WS)   Place memories marked the local geographical sites that were unstable and unsuitable for safe habitation. These memories offered historical experience learned through surviving past disasters. The historical experience passed down through oral history assisted people                                                 43 The map shows some safe places for emergency shelter.  142  to know important information that supported their lives during the emergency situations.  4.3 Reconstruction phase: memories of the original town help the survivors to transform the new community After the accomplishment of the rescue work, the earthquake survivors had to face the construction of their new dwellings. This section focuses on the role that their previous memories of their original home and place played in the process of the construction of their new residential communities.  4.3.1 Background Once the earthquake survivors were relocated the new communities, it took a certain amount of time for them to become familiar with their new environment and build emotional attachment to it. The development of this emotional relationship was dependent upon the quality of the survivors’ interactions with their new surroundings.   …There were plenty of ginkgo trees in my hometown. Several were tens of thousands of years old… The leaves changed color according to the seasons. A lot of photographers took pictures in my hometown. Our new community, [however], has only several tiny shrubs… I miss those big ginkgo trees … (24-SAU-R-WS)  143  …The new community is too far from my farmland. The round trip takes about two hours… If I could have any other income to support my family, I would like to give up farming. (10-Luobo-R-WS+WI)    … The new building material is not a good match for our local climate. The ventilation in the new buildings is very poor and [results in] the humidity being very high… (15-Hanxin-R-WS+WI)  These three quotations indicate that the survivors used their memories of the past environment as the frame of reference to evaluate the new dwelling. This comparison triggered their initial dissatisfaction with their new communities, which impelled them to change (or shape) their new dwelling by utilizing their previous experience. As soon as the survivors arrived in their new communities, they began to make physical changes to their environment. They were determined to make the new community more comfortable and to make it feel more like their original homes. Towards this end they made changes, such as turning an empty roof into an activity room or a small garden and utilizing unused public space as storage space. These kinds of physical changes usually began within their homes, extending later to their immediate surroundings and then to the entire community (Tuan, 1980; Marcus, 1995).  144  The local government officials were not pleased by the changes to the external environment that the local residents made, because, 1) to the officials, the external design appearance was of utmost importance. Therefore, these officials created rules to force the residents to desist in making these changes because they were concerned that such changes would make the new communities as “dirty” as the survivors’ home places were, where livestock and poultry had been raised (6-Chicheng-O-WI); 2) The officials had a stereotypical view that only an urban-looking community would provide an upgrade in living conditions, while biased opinion thought an original garden-based, rural community indicated a somewhat dilapidated condition with run-down structures (1-Chicheng-O-WS+WI); 3) Primary importance to the local officials was, as mentioned before, the reputation issue. Any visible changes in a community could be easily observed by the higher up government officials who would often come to examine the community after the disaster. The local officials worried that any “non-harmonious” changes would leave a bad impression upon the high-level government officials, which would then negatively affect the local officials’ career advancement in the future (15-Hanxin-R-WS+WI). This stance on the part of the local officials and their endeavor to strictly enforce that no changes were to be made to the physical structures and design was unsuccessful in halting the local residents’ place-changing efforts. Stories will follow of the earthquake survivors’ efforts to change the physical aspects of their new communities. 145  The following sections under this theme will explain several examples of local residents’ changes in their new communities.    4.3.2 Decrease the financial burden  Arranging furniture, hanging pictures, placing houseplants, these generally are ways of creating a sense of home in a new setting. Marcus (1995) describes these actions as establishing a “mirror of self”. Almost all the survivors, according to their financial limitations, decorated the incomplete interior of their dwelling (as shown in Figure 4.5 and Figure 4.6) to make themselves feel more at home. I was invited into some of the survivors’ new homes in various settings, including townhouses, houses and apartments. Every tenant vividly described to me the changes they made in their new home. Almost every one of them evoked particular aspects and features of their hometown that guided his/her space arrangement, decoration work and desired changes in the new community.   … I used to have several pieces of farmland around my house [in my hometown]. I grew vegetables there. [In the new community, however], I understand that there is not enough space for every family to have a garden. I wish I could use the public gardens around the outside of the buildings and also in the courtyard. Unfortunately, only flowers are allowed there. But I would like to plant some vegetables… (10-Qingtian-R-WS+WI) 146  Figure 4.5 Sample of incomplete ceiling (left) (photograph taken by author) Figure 4.6 Sample of a kitchen in a newly built house (right) (photograph taken by author)      In their hometowns, these people produced all of their own food. They had free access to drinking water and any kind of supplies they needed for cooking, heating and construction.  However, when they moved into the new community, they had to pay the same price as city residents do for their cooking, heating and construction supplies, even though they had lost the main source of their income that had come from farming. This loss was due to the destruction and complete loss of their farmland or from having to be relocated a great distance from their farm. This financial issue could be considered as one of the main 147  causes of the local residents’ stress. Without their previous stable financial supports, the earthquake survivors have had to decipher new ways to support themselves in their new communities. This stressor continues to undermine the earthquake survivors’ place attachment to their new communities. Therefore, almost all the residents tried to improve their situation in their new communities by starting up tiny gardens for the family. Furthermore, most of the survivors also expressed a strong desire to add a small plaza in their community for traditional activities and/or festivals, as well as rebuild cultural buildings, such as temples. Most of the official reconstruction projects did not consider these issues in their plans for the new communities.   Among the things that the survivors most desired in their new community were agricultural-related items. The reasons were that, 1) Most of these residents were farmers and had no other skills to enable them to find an average-income job in an urban area. 2) Some residents lost their entire income because their original farmland and/or orchards were destroyed by the earthquake or had been built over and occupied by the newly-built residential communities. 3) Some residents’ farmland and/or orchards were still functional but they said that they had been relocated too far from them. In their original home place, their houses were situated very close to their farmland or orchards. 4) In their new communities, there were no places to store their farming tools and equipment (Figure 4.7) 148  as well as no adequate place to carry out various farming activities, such as drying the fresh grain (Figure 4.8). All these requirements related to their basic livelihood. Only after these basic requirements were fulfilled, could they begin to pursue their more abstract needs.   Figure 4.7 Farming vehicles occupying the condominium driveways (photograph taken by author)    149  Figure 4.8 Drying corn on the apartment balcony (photograph taken by author)    4.3.3 “Make myself feel at home” Walk-along interviews offered valuable opportunities to learn about the changes that the people were able to make in their dwellings, as well as how their memories worked in their home-making process.   A middle-aged lady, Mrs. Li, showed me her new apartment. Pre-earthquake, she had had a job in a glass factory. After the earthquake, she returned to her hometown because her son had gotten married and her daughter-in-law had had a baby. Mrs. Li wanted to care for her grandson and help her daughter-in-law. Her family obtained two two-bedroom 150  apartments in the new community. The new apartment buildings were built right on top of their original farmland. She lived with her husband in one apartment and her son’s family lived in the adjacent one.   As most residents here, Mrs. Li wanted to obtain a piece of farmland in the community, or nearby, to plant fresh vegetables, so that her entire family would be able to enjoy free, fresh food, as they had when they lived in their original hometown. Her apartment was located on the top floor of a six-story apartment building, and had access to the roof. She told me that she found the roof empty of objects and that nobody had any need to use it. At first, she began a project of creating a rooftop flower garden, planting some local flowers and grasses (Figure 4.9). One year after she had settled into the new community, a senior government official from the central government came to inspect her community and came upon her rooftop garden. He praised her highly for planting it and recommended her garden as an excellent example of using this type of “waste” space. When she first started her activities, the local government wanted to stop her. However, after the upper-level government official’s visit and praise, the local government officials kept silent. Encouraged, she replaced the flowers and grasses with fast-growing vegetables. Almost all the residents imitated her method. In addition, some dwellers converted their rooftop into small activity rooms for playing chess and other games. They 151  built a rain shelter over all or part of the roof, under which they would carry on their activities, as shown in Figure 4.10.   Figure 4.9 Sample of a roof garden growing grass (photograph taken by author)   Figure 4.10 Sample of a rooftop chess room (photograph taken by author)  152  Thus far, Mrs. Li’s improvement activities have not ceased. She has successfully utilized other “waste” spaces in the community. She discovered that an indoor space under the staircase, at the entrance of the building could be utilized to dry grain (Figure 4.11). Her reasons were: 1) [the vertical space under the stairs is] “not high enough to work a little garden”; 2) “No rain”: this being a sheltered space, it is protected from rain; 3) “Dry”: natural ventilation that is available in this space is one of the most important conditions for drying grain; and 4) “Has sunshine”, the afternoon sunshine reaches that spot for about four hours per day in the summer and autumn, accelerating the speed of drying (4-Luchi-R-WS+WI). Mrs. Li described all these advantages clearly, logically and vividly.   Of course, every farmer must have an understanding of the knowledge … I got all this knowledge from my relatives and they got it from our ancestors. Other residents also made several changes in their own way. [After moving into this community], we could not have the same life as we had in our hometown. However, I know how to change myself44. Now, we can still do our traditional farming activities in the new community. We can plant fresh vegetables by using the roof space… [Of course], everyone has to get used to the new life here, why not? Frankly, my previous experience and skills help me a lot45. (4-Luchi-R-WS+WI).                                                  44 Once the residents moved into the new housing they had to accommodate their lifestyle to adapt to and settle into their new communities.  45 Mrs. Li’s previous experience and skills helped her to smooth the way of her relocation. 153  Figure 4.11 Sample of drying grain in the space beside the staircase (photograph taken by author)   Mrs. Li also showed me the materials that one of her neighbors used to build the activity rooms on their roofs. The activity rooms’ over-arching thatch was made of corn straw (brought from the nearby farmland) and wood for its pillars (from tree trunks from the nearby forest). The local carpenter made the wooden tables and chairs. At this point, her neighbor, a young mom of a one-year old son, Mrs. Zhang, joined our discussion:   154  Because we were very familiar with land, plants and small animals46… It was easy for us to get free access to all the materials. I find that the concrete chairs are too cold and hard to sit on directly, especially in the winter. I will collect some dry straw to make a comfortable cushion for each chair. (4-Luchi-R-WS+WI)  Then, Mrs. Li showed me a small plaza, which used to be full of rocks and stones, formerly a piece of waste and unused land. Several residents were playing chess and Majiang47 in this plaza (Figure 4.12).    Figure 4.12 Several residents playing chess and majiang (left) Figure 4.13 Parking lot for farming vehicles (right) (photographs taken by author)                                                  46 Mrs. Zhang confidently expressed that her neighbors in her original hometown were familiar with their natural environment.  47 Majiang, or Mahjong, is a very popular traditional Chinese game that originated in Sichuan Province. It “similar to the Western card game rummy, mahjong is a game of skill, strategy, and calculation and involves a degree of chance” (“Mahjong,” n.d.). 155  After having moved into the new community, the neighbors realized that there were not public spaces to hold community activities such as “festivals”, “traditional ceremonies” and “weddings and funerals” (4-Luchi-R-WS+WI). Hence, all the residents “worked together to change that wasteland into a small plaza” (4-Luchi-R-WS+WI). The design originally came from “our memory of the traditional plazas in our hometown” (4-Luchi-R-WS+WI). All the residents “discussed the details of the planning and design among themselves and built the plaza together” (4-Luchi-R-WS+WI). Moreover, as “the neighbors in this community came from three different villages, some residents had not known each other before”, but all worked in unity on the project and “got to know one another” (4-Luchi-R-WS+WI).  A male senior, who might have been in his sixties, after hearing Mrs. Li’s description, added:   The main problem when we moved here was that there was not enough storage space… for farming vehicles and tools. [In our hometown] we had good storage areas. So, we covered part of this plaza with a rain shelter48 (Figure 4.13, Figure 4.14). The small house [at the end of the plaza] is a storage room for farming tools                                                 48 This section of the plaza became a parking lot for farming and private vehicles. 156  and cooking utensils (Figure 4.15). We also have access to Zilaishui [a public faucet], which helps with the cooking49. (4-Luchi-R-WS+WI)  Figure 4.14 Parking lot for private vehicles (left)  Figure 4.15 Storehouse in the corner of the plaza (right) (photographs taken by author)  After overhearing our conservation, several residents stopped their game and joined in. Another senior gentleman explained that:  At first, when we moved into our new apartments, we only knew the villagers from my hometown and did not know others. Everyone lived isolated in his or her own apartment, like a bird in a cage. Some residents did not even say hello to their next-door neighbor. [In our hometown], all the villagers did farming together. In our                                                 49 The cooking, spoken of here, was outdoor and communal; it was devoted to weddings and other festivals, important parts of Chinese culture.  157  homes we all could see what our neighbors were doing through the windows. All the villagers [in my village] lived as a big family. (4-Luchi-R-WS+WI)   After working together on the construction of the new location and discussing the design details for structures that they wanted to build together, the residents, who were formerly strangers, developed ties of friendship. After that, they frequently held activities together such as “playing chess”, “playing Majiang” and “Guozhuang50” (4-Luchi-R-WS+WI). Designing and constructing the plaza strengthened relationships among all the residents. Residents felt that they were developing new family-like ties in their new community.  Another senior woman agreed that compared to the original hometown, the physical facilities of the new community were an improvement. In the original hometown, all the villagers “had enjoyed their freedom and felt as though they could do anything they wanted” (4-Luchi-R-WS+WI). The new community, however, required them to live as urban dwellers, which meant that they had to obey “new rules” and because of their new close proximity, had to consider “whether or not our behavior inconvenienced our neighbors” (4-Luchi-R-WS+WI).                                                    50 Guozhuang is a local dance. 158  I began to consider whether or not my cooking smoke might have a bad affect on my neighbors next door.  I participated in the weekly clean up work in the community. My sister joined the security team as well… Almost everyone wanted to raise some chicken and ducks. However, when we reconsidered that the smell might not be good for other people, this plan was given up. (4-Luchi-R-WS+WI)  In these kinds of post-disaster situations, people endeavor to adjust themselves to the newness and oddness of their new community, and at the same time, the new community itself gets restructured. During this process of change, their original memories assisted the dwellers to modify the new physical environment and the new environment also supported the residents to deposit new memories into the new town. This process is truly a home-making process.  4.4 Long-term recovery: “homesickness” and longing to return to their original home location During the long-term recovery stage, several earthquake survivors gave up their new apartments in the modern residential communities to return to their original home location, even though there was no power supply at the original site. In the Luchi community, I was told that at least 15 families (approximate 50 people), mostly middle-aged men and women, moved back to their original home location. In other research locations, this kind 159  of return was also mentioned, when the survivors’ original home locations were still livable. This section examines this phenomenon to ask: What triggered their return? How did memory function in this case?   In order to answer these questions, I interviewed some residents who made the decision and returned to their original homes. During the memory workshops, Mrs. Chang, an elderly woman of almost 76 years, who had also participated in the workshop in the Luchi community, casually mentioned that her son and daughter-in-law had gone back to their original town and had repaired their old house with the aim of living there. She served on the cleaning team in the new community and lived with her grandson, granddaughter-in-law and great grandson. Participants in the same workshop also mentioned that people moving back to their original homes was a common phenomenon among those they knew in the community. Hence, I requested a walk-along interview with Mrs. Chang around her original village, as well as around the new community. Forthwith, I discuss the background of Mrs. Chang’s family’s case and the case itself to explore the return to their hometown, sense of place and memory.   160  4.4.1 Background on the Luchi community The new Luchi community51 was one of the showpiece communities that was built during the post-earthquake reconstruction. Luchi is located on a newly created flat area in the mountainous region, which at one time was a forest. According to the governmental reconstruction models mentioned in Chapter 2, the type of reconstruction that the Luchi community underwent was mixed reconstruction52. Hence, the government chose a common setting in which to relocate all the people of these villages, described as reconstruction by the central government.  Some villagers, at least 15 families, mentioned by Mrs. Chang as from her community, refused to move into the new community because of their attachment to their original homes. The villagers’ who did move back to their original sites made “the local government officials’ achievements regarding helping all their villagers to move into the new community appear as a sham” (11-Luchi-R-WS+WI). The local government officials felt they had “lost face”53 before the central government (11-Luchi-R-WS+WI). To keep                                                 51 See the map of research locations in Chapter 2. 52 Mixed reconstruction means that there were several small villages located near one another in this mountainous area. If there had been small-scale and isolated reconstruction projects, it would have created much waste because of the separate infrastructures and farming facility systems of the scattered small populations (see Chapter 2). 53 According to Chinese cultural background, to lose face means “to lose status” or “to become less respectable” or “to not maintain your reputation and the respect of others” (“Lose face,” n.d.). In my dissertation, one of the situations where “lose face” is mentioned is when the Chinese central government wanted to be seen as outstanding and excellent by other governments 161  from losing any more, local officials tried to force the villagers, who had moved back to their original sites, to return to the newly built community “by shutting off the power and water supply at the original site” (11-Luchi-R-WS+WI). Some villagers chose to “only sleep in their new apartments” (11-Luchi-R-WS+WI). They would “get up at sunrise and go back to their original homes” which then lacked power and water supply, to do “their daily activities there”, including farming, which continued to be their mainstay, “returning only at sunset” to the government-built apartments. To this date, the government was not expected to and has not reinstated the power and water supply to the original site. (11-Luchi-R-WS+WI)  4.4.2 Mrs. Chang’s family  Mrs. Chang accepted my request of doing a walk-along interview. When we entered the new community, she began to talk about her family. She has been a widow for about a decade. Her family had been a quintessential Chinese three-generation (grandparent-parent-child) family.                                                                                                                                                worldwide. If they were not successful in the post-earthquake reconstruction and recovery, they feared they would lose face in international standing. Another circumstance where “lose face” was used in my dissertation was where the local government officials feared that they would not be seen in a good light by the central government if they were not able to successfully finish the reconstruction task that they were given to accomplish. If that were to happen it would dramatically affect their career rise within the government system. 162  After the earthquake and according to the central government’s reconstruction policies, her family obtained two two-bedroom apartments. Her grandson lived in one apartment with his wife and newborn son. She lived with her son and daughter-in-law in the other one. Her grandson worked in the rural area and his wife stayed at home taking care of their son. Her son and daughter-in-law were typical Chinese farmers, who only completed a junior secondary school education and had no other skills except farming. Furthermore, they were in their forties which meant that it would have been difficult for them to find jobs in the urban area. This is because hiring practices in China pay much attention to the employee’s age and his or her educational backgrounds54. When they moved into the new community, they found that it was not convenient for them to go back to their farmland everyday because it was some distance away. However, if they were to give up farming, they would lose their only income and would not be able to afford the cost of living in the new community. They made the decision to return to their original home site.  Mrs. Chang told me that she would have liked to return too because for her this was a real home. However, she was unable to move back because she had gotten a new janitorial job in the new community. Another reason was that her granddaughter-in-law needed her help                                                 54 This hiring practice in China creates inequities that might limit the local residents’ choices regarding livelihood options and coping with the reconstruction situation. These kinds of inequities are not supposed to exist in a Communist country. However, they are very common in contemporary society in China (Whyte, 2010). 163  to take care of her great grandson. Due to her age, furthermore, she could not really do much farming work, which requires more energy than she had. Despite her longing for her original home, she had to stay in the new community.  4.4.3 Back at the original home As Mrs. Chang and I walked along in the new community, she could not stop comparing the new community to her original one, for example, her neighbors’ and her original houses were near woods and farmland, but now they could only live in the “cage-like” apartment. Also, it was very easy to plant vegetables and raise some poultry around their original house but it was impossible to do so after their relocation. She described the advantages and disadvantages of the new Luchi community, as we walked out of the new Luchi community, and proceeded towards her original home location (Figure 4.16)  164  Figure 4.16 Walk-along interviewee, Mrs. Chang (left)  Figure 4.17 Muddy road (right) (photographs taken by author)  The new community had been built close to the county road. This was acceptable to the residents. Their original community home was located in the mountainous area with only a dirt road, that often became muddy (Figure 4.17). No good quality road connected these people’s new community with the county road that led to their original home site. After it would rain, the potholes and puddles made it difficult to walk.   Mrs. Chang told me that it usually takes her about an hour to walk up the slope to her original house and about 40 minutes to return to the new community. She makes this trip, 165  back and forth, at least twice a day, having brunch and dinner with her son’s family. When I began walking this muddy road with her, I realized just how difficult it was. At every step, I had to be very careful. I tried my best to keep up with her, but for a short while, I lagged behind with a big distance between us. She was very familiar with the environment. She continually pointed out to me where the puddles were and what the best or easier step was. She also kept up a running explanation about almost everything growing on either side of the road, such as the names of different types of trees and flowers. She also indicated where the destroyed local land deity temple had stood, who had owned the destroyed houses on both sides of the road and where they were currently living; who was still living in their original house, and what she and her neighbors used to do. It seemed that as she drew nearer to her former world, everything that had been within the scope of her own life experience came back into her mind so vividly, and she seemed empowered by her ability to describe things masterfully.   Hiking in the mountainous area was a real challenge for me, having grown up in a flat urban area. After about 30 minutes, I felt extremely tired, although as Mrs. Chang told me that our speed today was much slower than her usual pace. After about a two-hour trip, we arrived at her son’s place (Figure 4.18).   166  Looking around Mrs. Chang’s son’s home in the woods, my first reaction was that this shelter could barely be considered a house, according to the modern urban standard. It stood, hardly visible in the woods, with pillars supporting a thatched roof, no walls to speak of, no curtain … (Figure 4.19). However, everything was very clean. Under the roof sat several pieces of simple furniture and gorgeous plants. Wet clothing was hanging on a clothesline in the middle of the yard in front of the wooden structure. I could smell the fragrance from flowers and grass and felt a very welcoming feeling from this shelter.   Figure 4.18 Far view of the repaired house (photograph taken by author)   167  Figure 4.19 Near view of the repaired house (photograph taken by author)    Mrs. Chang’s son and daughter-in-law were off doing farming nearby. She called out towards the woods several times saying her son’s name. Suddenly, a reply came from within the woods. Ten minutes or so went by and then, both her son and daughter-in-law appeared and approached us. After permission, our conservation was taken into the yard, in the front of the house. Her son was very gentlemanly and hospitable. Her daughter-in-law served me some tea. They then began to recount their experience regarding the disaster.   Mrs. Chang’s son described:   168  The earthquake almost “destroyed” my family. My 15-year-old daughter was killed under the collapsed school building. Her grades in school were perfect and she won a scholarship every year. If she were alive, she would be starting university this year. (11-Luchi-R-WS+WI).   After these few words, conversation ceased and the entire atmosphere was dominated by a heavy silence. The noise made by cicadas came loudly to the forefront. Both women were wiping away their tears with their sleeve and the man’s eyes had turned red as well. Mrs. Chang’s son continued,  My wife could not stop crying everyday for about two years. She told me she wanted to return to our original home. We are farmers and do not have any other skill to find a job in the urban area. We were not allowed to do farming and raise pigs, cows, chickens and ducks [in the new place]. So, you can see how difficult it was [living in the new community], we still had to pay the expensive power and water bills55. Also, traveling from the new community to here takes a lot of time everyday. So we decided to just move back here. My father is a carpenter; I inherited his skills. We built our house [the original one] by ourselves. I could find local building materials such as wood, stone and mud for free (Figure 4.20 and Figure 4.21). [In our original home], we could get free spring water. We had farmland for grain, raised livestock and poultry, as well as planted vegetables (Figure 4.22 and Figure 4.23). The grain we planted was not only enough for our own use and our livestock and poultry’s                                                 55 Most farmers, once relocated, had no income when they relocated into the urban communities because they lost their farmland.  169  daily food needs, but also was plentiful enough to be sold. In addition to the vegetables we grew, we were also able to sell our animals. We just came back, repaired the old house, and repeated our previous life. I love it here; I would like to stay here. (11Luchi-R-WS+WI)   Figure 4.20 Sample of building materials: wood (for pillars) (photograph taken by author)  170  Figure 4.21 Sample of building materials: grass (for thatched roof) (photograph taken by author)  Figure 4.22 Sample of farmland beside the county road (photograph taken by author)  171  Figure 4.23 Sample of poultry (ducks) (photograph taken by author)   Later, Mrs. Chang’s son showed me around. We talked for a long time. He described the entire process of what they did when they returned to their original home site, from repairing the old house to building a new livestock shelter (Figure 4.24) and storage room (Figure 4.25) for farming equipment and tools, from their old neighbors to their new neighbors, from his and his wife’s involvement in the rescue work immediately after the earthquake to the building of the new community. Several baby goats and his dog accompanied us during the entire walk-along interview. The family was very happy as they reported to me that they could earn about 50 to 60 CYN56 (about CAD$10) a day by                                                 56 CYN is the official currency of China. 172  staying at their original home place. The family shared vivid memories about their original hometown and life before the earthquake:   Five people, three generations, lived in this wooden house together, which was built with help from our neighbors. My father used to be a famous carpenter in the village. My father and I made all the furniture. We changed a lot of wild land into farmland… (11-Luchi-R-WS+WI)  The man continued to make mention of his deceased daughter frequently, in such context as how she used to read under the pear tree, how she used to help her parents feed the ducks and chickens because she loved small animals. I was touched by that strong parental love from his heart and the many ways the memory of the daughter was embedded in place and nature.    173  Figure 4.24 Sample of a livestock shelter (photograph taken by author)    Figure 4.25 Sample of a recently built storage room (photograph taken by author)  174   After the walk-along interview, Mrs. Chang showed me back to the county road where I was able to take the shuttle bus to return to the town center. On our walk back to the bus stop, she told me that the past four years (after her granddaughter’s death), had been the hardest period of her life.  Her son had been ill several times during this period and had remained very weak until the present. Due to limited income, her son could not be admitted to the hospital because of the high hospital fee. Living in their original home and being familiar with their surroundings, they did not have to suffer the uncomfortable feelings associated with relocation in the new community. She believes that her son’s recovery would become better and better, and that their lives would be blessed and go smoothly soon.   4.5 Memory-guided place making I have presented in this chapter, three case studies of how memory triggered action and guided place-making activities at various stages of the earthquake recovery and reconstruction. The first story took place during the emergency stage, demonstrating that memories of previous disasters and the local residents’ survival experiences offered some survival skills that helped them to respond to the emergency demands of the current disaster, such as how to move to a safe place, how to discover food and water, as well as 175  how to help rescue other survivors. Memories of their original hometown, as well, motivated the earthquake survivors during the reconstruction stage to change some physical aspects of their new communities and transform them into places related to socializing and livelihood. Hence, memory was a catalyst that added to the transformation of their new community, even to the entire new town. Lastly, during the long-term recovery stage, homesickness for their past and livelihood pragmatics drove some survivors to leave their new communities, repair or rebuild the site of their original family home and return there to live.  Getting back to the first research sub-question, in the context of the dramatic physical changes which occurred in a short period of time caused by the swift reconstruction, how did the earthquake survivors’ memories of daily life and use of spaces in their original hometown influence their reconstruction of their social worlds and lives? People’s memories of daily life and their use of spaces, which is recognized as the raw material of the place-making experience in people’s hometown and dwelling, is a living source that the new place experience can draw upon to shape the future (Nora, 1996; Connerton, 1989; Huyssen, 2003). Building upon the use of memories of past place, this research aims to make a contribution toward future disaster-related place-making endeavors. The documented survivors’ accounts show how people’s memories can actually mold the new 176  dwelling and environment. It should be noted that their memories helped them to resettle and cope with the transition. To the point, the past place-making experience could transfer into and influence place design work in the present by utilizing recalling and remembering.   Everyone in a given community contributes to the place-making process and outcome by direct and indirect activities in his/her dwelling and community. Everyone’s memory regarding their daily life and use of spaces in his/her original hometown, to some extent, generates his/her daily activities in the new town. In Chapter 7, I would like to conceptualize how memory can and does have an important effect on the place-making process. 177  Chapter  5: Survivors’ Participation and Civic Responses in the Reconstruction and Recovery Process   [Our cities] are formulated by manufacturers, governments, and professional designers, and are guided and communicated through mass media. They are not developed and formulated by the people. Uniform products and places are created for people of supposedly uniform needs and tastes, or perhaps vice versa.  Relph, 1976, p. 92   Continuing the discussion started in Chapter 4 about the roles that memory plays in the different stages of post-disaster reconstruction, this chapter explores the themes of home making and the establishment of the sense of home, by analyzing what the individuals’ (local residents and individual volunteers) participation consisted of during the entire reconstruction process. The disaster survivors’ participation in post-disaster reconstruction planning and decision-making process is the first step of social recovery (Hoffman & Oliver-Smith, 2002). In this dissertation, local survivors’ participation is understood as the direct involvement of survivors in the entire post-disaster reconstruction from 178  “planning”, to “governance” to “overall development programmed at the local or grassroots level” (Williams, 2006, p. 197). In practice, during the Wenchuan earthquake recovery, this critical component seems to have received little (if any) attention. This chapter will examine: 1) the local residents’ and non-local volunteers’ participation in the three stages of post-disaster reconstruction and 2) the ways, which took place under strict governmental control, in which local residents and non-local volunteers’ participation contributed to the overall post-disaster social reconstruction.  5.1 Participation after Wenchuan earthquake  As examined in Chapter 1, the two main players that were involved in the reconstruction process, after the Wenchuan earthquake were: 1) the governmental group, consisting of officials from all levels (central, provincial and local) of government and, 2) non-governmental groups and individuals, including NGOs, local residents and unaffiliated individual volunteers. Table 5.1 lists and characterizes the participation of the various groups in the post-disaster reconstruction and recovery process. 179  Table 5.1 Groups’ involvement in Wenchuan earthquake’s reconstruction   Participation  Stages Governmental Group Non-governmental Group Central Government Other Level Governments NGOs Unaffiliated Volunteers Local Residents Emergency  YES YES YES YES YES Reconstruction YES YES Limited YES YES Long-term Recovery YES YES Limited YES YES  According to Chen (2009), the central government controlled the physical and social reconstruction by planning, making decisions about and administrating the entire reconstruction through the development of the policy framework and reconstruction plan, coordination of related departments throughout all levels of government, supervision of the construction and development processes and inspection of the final outcomes57. Under this centralized decision making and implementation process, the NGOs had a limited participation, which took place mostly in the emergency rescue stage, as it was described in Chapter 3 of this dissertation.   The local earthquake survivors and the unaffiliated individual volunteers’ were involved in both the physical and social reconstruction processes, throughout the three stages                                                 57 The governmental intervention throughout the entire post-disaster reconstruction will be discussed in Chapter 6. 180  (emergency, reconstruction and long-term recovery)58 that took place after the earthquake. During the emergency stage, the local residents and volunteers informally participated in the rescue operations. Although the central government required that governmental policies and plans should consider the local residents’ desires and practical requirements, in some places, the local governments merely collected the local dwellers’ input without allowing their input into the decision-making process59. The central government did offer the local residents some choice regarding the construction of their new housing, making this choice was the only way in which the local residents directly participated in some form of decision-making regarding the physical and social reconstruction.  During the reconstruction and long-term recovery stages, unaffiliated individual volunteers were not allowed (by the government) to participate in most aspects of the physical reconstruction. The government wanted complete control over the physical reconstruction. In terms of involvement in the social reconstruction, their activities were limited to serving such needs as training the local residents in certain advanced agricultural techniques and other kind of skills, and offering counseling to help the earthquake survivors recover from their trauma and to resume their lives.                                                  58 See the three stages of post-disaster reconstruction process in Chapter 1.  59 The central government asked the local government officials (the leaders of villages and towns, (mostly middle-aged men and some middle-aged women), to collect their local residents’ reconstruction views. This issue will be discussed in Chapter 6.   181  Post-disaster reconstruction literature highlights the centrality of formal participation in the reconstruction process, and that stakeholders (including disaster survivors) must be involved in some forms of organizational or institutional programs and/or decision making/governance process (Nelson & Wright, 1995; White, 1996; Olshanksy, 2006; Maginn, 2007; Chandrasekhar, 2012). In the case of the post-Wenchuan earthquake reconstruction and recovery, the local earthquake survivors’ and the unaffiliated individual volunteers’ involvement consisted of the following: 1) local earthquake survivors, who were informally involved in the rescue work during the emergency stage, but rarely directly participated in the physical reconstruction and recovery programs, due to the fact that the local governments did not consult them or sought to include them in decision making or in any aspect of the running of the recovery program (see Table 5.2). 2) The unaffiliated individual volunteers were informally involved in saving lives and formally involved in some rescue programs during the emergency stage. They were informally involved in supporting the survivors by teaching them skills and helping them in rebuilding and normalizing their everyday life. Formally, the unaffiliated individual volunteers participated in some social repair programs during the reconstruction and long-term recovery stage (see Table 5.2). In the following discussion, the informal participation of the residents, as well as the formal and informal participation of the 182  unaffiliated volunteers will be examined in two phases: 1) the emergency stage and 2) the reconstruction and long-term recovery stages.  Table 5.2 Types of involvement of the unaffiliated volunteers and local residents in the Wenchuan earthquake’s reconstruction   5.2 Responses to emergency As aforementioned in Chapter 3, immediately after the Wenchuan earthquake, approximately 20 million volunteers60 flowed into the region from all parts of China (Yang, 2011). Meanwhile, according to Yuan, Zhu and Chen (2008), more than 400 million Chinese people, living in China, Chinese people who were abroad, and other people from all over the world, endeavored to help the earthquake survivors. This aid entailed helping transport rescue goods, donating money and goods, as well as offering other kinds of help, such as coming to the area and joining rescue and medical teams. With all this aid coming in their direction, the local residents had to deal with a large                                                 60 According to Yang (2011), after the Wenchuan earthquake, there were no special unit or agency designated to organize, train and supervise the unaffiliated volunteers. Most of the unaffiliated volunteers’ work, in the quake-hit areas, was done through personal initiative. Participation Stages Unaffiliated Volunteers Local Residents Emergency  Formal & Informal Participation Informal Participation  Reconstruction Formal & Informal Participation Informal Participation Long-term Recovery Formal Participation Informal Participation 183  presence of local and international volunteers. This was on top of trying to rescue their own injured loved ones and neighbors, as soon and as many as possible. This section examines the non-local volunteers’ formal and informal participation during the emergency stage, by exploring how the local residents balanced this imported help with their own self-rescue work. The cooperative relationships among the volunteers and the survivors assisted the local residents to complete emergency relief as soon as possible and enabled them to turn their focus on the reconstruction of their new lives and homes.  5.2.1 Volunteer participation At the time of the earthquake, the volunteering rate was very low in China (Tuan, 2005). However, the support that came after the Wenchuan disaster changed this tendency, as tens of thousands of volunteers from home and abroad were galvanized to contribute to the emergency rescue. Yang and Chen (2008) argue that this change astonished the entire Chinese society, as well as boosted the survivors’ confidence. Hence, some media marked the year of 2008 as the first volunteer year in Chinese history (Yang, 2011). In this dissertation, the volunteers involved in the emergency stage were categorized into three groups, international volunteers, national volunteers from all over China and local volunteers. Among them, the international volunteers’ involvement was limited to the 184  emergency stage. The two other groups of domestic volunteers, formally and informally, also participated in the reconstruction and long-term recovery stages.  International volunteers. This was the first time in history since the founding of the People’s Republic of China that the Chinese government requested international assistance and allowed the international media entrance into a disaster-hit area (Bloomberg, 2013). Hence, the government tacitly approved the international volunteers’ involvement in the rescue work.   A 50-year old Japanese doctor came to Chengdu from Tokyo, carrying his own tent and served in a temporary clinic (tent) in the city of Mianzhu, which was in one of the worst-hit areas. He said: “when I saw the scenes of earthquake on the TV, I could not stop myself from going. I had to come here and do something for the survivors.” (Feng, Yuan, & Huang, 2008, paragraph 5).   Like this Japanese volunteer, others came from all around the world, including, to name but a few: the Netherlands, United States of America, Australia, the United Kingdom (see Figure 5.1), to offer their best to help the survivors. Some people who were not Chinese 185  nationals but had been living in China for a while (see Figure 5.2), such as international students, employees of Chinese branches of their international enterprises and researchers also came as volunteers (Feng, Yuan, & Huang, 2008). These people’s living experience in China equipped them with basic knowledge of Chinese culture and language. Many, because of having lived in China, were emotionally attached to China and this stimulated them to spontaneously want to be involved in the rescue work. An American medical doctor, who had lived in Chengdu for 10 years, gathered his students (doctors and nurses) and asked them to go to one of the worst-hit areas, the city of Beichuan (Feng, Yuan, & Huang, 2008). 186  Figure 5.1 [Woman named] Kati rescuing dog [after] Sichuan earthquake May 2008     Figure X. By IFAW/EOL Learning and Education Group, retrieved from https://flic.kr/p/cWB161. Used under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/) 187  Figure 5.2 International volunteers celebrated International Children’s Day with children from the quake-hit area    Figure X. By Sichuan Quake Relief, retrieved from https://flic.kr/p/4Tofsm. Used under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)  National and local volunteers. As mentioned in Chapter 3, the Wenchuan earthquake mobilized large numbers of Chinese citizens to come to the aid of the victims. The Times described the volunteers as “China’s new people’s army” (Macartney & Yu, 2008). Immediately after the earthquake, the city of Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province, was established as the hub from which all the human resources, as well as equipment and 188  materials were to be transferred from other parts of China on route to the quake-hit areas. At that point, almost all the local dwellers of Chengdu spontaneously joined to support the rescue work (Vice president moved to tears, 2008). The vice governor of Sichuan Province, Li Cheng Yun, described a scene of people working together on behalf of the rescue:  All the taxis became ambulances transferring the injured out of the quake-hit area. Local inhabitants were waiting in a long queue, in the rain for several hours to donate their blood to the hospitals and other medical service institutions. Public and military airports, railway and bus stations stopped their regular business and offered free service of all kinds of transportation for rescue and reconstruction… (Vice president moved to tears, 2008, p.1)   In the quake-hit areas, volunteers played a significant role in supporting the relief work, from bringing in rescue goods to offering first aid, from donating blood and money to supplying counseling to the earthquake survivors (see Figure 5.3 and Figure 5.4).  189  Figure 5.3 Collecting aid in Chengdu for survivors of the 12 May 2008 earthquake in Sichuan, China    Figure X. By Remko Tanis, retrieved from https://flic.kr/p/5XkPB4.Used under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerives 2.0 Generic (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/) 190  Figure 5.4地震志愿者 Earthquake volunteers [from all around China]     Figure X. By Lei Gao, retrieved from https://flic.kr/p/4Nb2Lr. Used under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/)  The volunteers were involved in almost all aspects of the rescue and relief work. Some reports state that the international volunteers, usually equipped with professional rescue experience and knowledge, were smoothly serving in the local area (Dai, 2009). However, 191  there were some reports saying that the some national and local volunteers needed to “stay away” because they added “chaos” (Song, 2013) and were “doing harm with a good heart” (Banks & Nohr, 2012, p. 39). There were cases reported in which the rescue work was somewhat delayed because some of the volunteers’ private vehicles blocking the only road used for transporting rescue goods and equipment into the epicenter (Yang & Chen, 2008). Furthermore, Yang and Chen (2008) illustrate a certain number of people wanting to volunteer, who had no experience, who ended up putting an extra burden on the limited and weak local goods supply system. According to Cranmer (2005), some of these volunteers even became a “secondary disaster” in some areas, because the professional rescue teams had to take care of them as well. Therefore, the central government requested that all people who wanted to volunteer throughout China avoid traveling to the epicenter of the disaster, and rather do something from where they were, such as donate blood or help purchase and transfer goods (Bian, Wei, Hua, & Zhang, 2009).   During the emergency stage, the volunteers cooperated with the local residents and government-oriented professional rescue teams to conduct the rescue and relief work. The local residents, especially the injured and weak ones, felt overwhelmed. In addition to undergoing the trauma of losing their families, friends and farmlands, they were completely dependent on assistance from others. Those among the local residents, who 192  did not need help, volunteered to help others. The next section will examine the local residents’ involvement during the emergency stage.   5.2.2 Local residents informal participation The local residents’ informal participation in the rescue work included self-rescue, rescue of others and support given to the volunteers and other official rescuers. During the earthquake and immediately after, local residents spontaneously engaged in rescue work. As mentioned above, once survivors’ rescue was secured, those among them who were able, endeavored to help others. A young mother, about 30 years old, described how her community took immediate action after the earthquake:   …The road from our village to the town center was completely destroyed. We believed that someone would eventually come here and help us. At that point, we were not afraid of the aftershocks. We could not wait any more. It is important to rescue people. We continued searching for the living. No power, no tools, we just dug through the rubble with our hands… (14-Dongqi Factory-R-WS+WI)  A university student recalled that he was in Grade 10 when the earthquake hit and that he was very lucky because he and his classmates were preparing for their physical education 193  class outside in the playground61. He saw students and teachers trying to escape from the school building to the playground immediately after the first shock. The entire school was in shambles. The dust triggered by the collapsed structures was filling the air. He could only hear crying and calls for help:  … Our teacher spoke very loudly: “Don’t cry. Girls and injured stay here. Boys follow me to rescue people”62. Then, we followed him running towards the direction where the calls for help were coming from…(24-SAU-WS)  As mentioned before, immediately after the disaster, the infrastructure, in some areas, completely came down. The earthquake took out power, telecom and safe roads leading to the outside. To make things worse, if that was possible, the epicenter area got drenched with heavy rain for a week after the earthquake. The local residents, nevertheless, after finishing their self-rescue began to assist others without any hesitation. A retired local government official, about 65 years old, described how their villagers helped the urban residents:  I did not hear about anyone in our village being injured because most of our villagers were in the farmland [when the earthquake happened]. I remember, on that night, the                                                 61 The earthquake happened at 2:28 p.m. The afternoon session at school had already begun.  62 This citation could be considered as an example of a gendered response in the emergency rescue.  194  village head told the men to go and help out in Dujiangyan, because our village is the closest to there. [He said that] the city people live in apartments. Not like us, they did not have storage spaces for food and tools, so they are really in trouble. Later, 10 of us, not caring about the heavy rain, equipped with simple farming tools, flashlights, mantou63 and water, went to Dujiangyan on a tractor… (2-Heming-O&R-WS+WI)  Over the course of the entire rescue work after Wenchuan earthquake, 10,000 survivors were rescued by the rescue teams; however, those who were saved by their neighbors and families numbered over 70,000 (National Disaster Relief Center of China [NDRCC] & United Nations Development Program [UNDP], China, 2009). According to NDRCC and UNDP (2009), 45% of those who were trapped by the demolished buildings were found by their neighbors. This percentage was even higher in the rural areas because the rescue teams were unable to reach these remote areas immediately after the earthquake due to geographical limitations (NDRCC & UNDP, 2009).   By emphasizing the importance of the part played by local rural dwellers during the rescue work, I am not suggesting that volunteers’ and rescue teams’ work was not significant. Of course, the rescue teams and the tremendous number of volunteers contributed greatly toward the success of the rescue work. For instance, special equipment                                                 63 Mantou is a type of Chinese bread. 195  to move or even cut the huge building structures was needed to rescue many of the earthquake survivors, who had been buried by the collapsed buildings. Those who were seriously injured, and who needed complicated surgery, had to be removed by professional rescue teams. However, in documenting the importance of the rescue work that was accomplished by the survivors themselves (a dimension of the rescue operation that was terrifically significant in terms of who did most of the rescuing during Wenchuan’s emergency stage), it can be found that this aspect of the documentation was neglected. As noted before, the professional rescue teams were not able to arrive on the scene immediately. The rural people made due with what they already knew and with what they had on hand. Discussion in Chapter 4 included earthquake survivors’ memories of previous disasters that had occurred in their regions, which equipped them with skills and know-how regarding protection and rescue. Admittedly, professional knowledge is greatly valued in rescue immediately following a disaster (Wu, 2008). However, the rural areas’ situation offered local knowledge of surviving disaster as the option immediately available following the quake.   Furthermore, the local residents, as well, established a cooperative relationship with the outside helpers. Almost in every village, town or city I visited, I heard stories about the local dwellers having used their own means to support the rescue teams and volunteers, 196  such as cooking food for them, making tea for them (as shown in Figure 5. 5) and converting their own homes into service places.   Figure 5.5 虽然也在露宿,但是烧点开水也是一份力  [Although they lived in the outdoors (were homeless now), boiling water is a kind of contribution as well]   Figure 5.5 has been removed due to copyright restrictions. It showed a girl (earthquake survivor) boiling water for the rescue teams. She was living outside, as her house had been destroyed by earthquake. Original source:  By Sichuan Provincial Department of Commerce. Retrieved from http://www.sccom.gov.cn/xxfb/page/512dz/zl_512dz_tp_04.htm   A middle-aged lady, Mrs. Gong, previously had owned a grocery store that had been located on the main street in her town, which was one of the worst-hit areas. She witnessed the volunteers’ hard work that started immediately after the disaster. She conveyed her heart-felt appreciation of their hard work:   I offered free cups of noodles, cookies and other kinds of food from my grocery store [to all the volunteers], but they insisted that they would not eat anything unless they paid me… In my mother’s village, the seniors worked together to cook and boil water [for the volunteers and rescue workers]64. The seniors had to persuade again                                                 64 In the rural area, almost every family stocked some food. After the disaster, since the seniors were not able to do demanding physical work, they cooked for the rescuers and volunteers.  197  and again the volunteers and other people who were helping, to stop for a while and eat something65. (14-Dongqi Factory- R-WS+WI)  The local residents, in return for the assistance that was being given by the volunteers, supported the volunteers’ work. Hence, the earthquake survivors established a dynamic, cooperative relationship with volunteers by informally being involved in the informal and formal rescue and relief work. This dynamic relationship guaranteed that the volunteer’s rescue and relief endeavors, especially their professional knowledge and experience, could be utilized to the maximum. From the local survivors’ standpoint, the local residents’ support towards the volunteers, such as supplying food, drink and a resting place, gave them assurance that they would get the best help possible from these volunteers.   According to Zhang, Shi, Wang and Liu (2011), during the emergency stage, some survivors, who suffered the trauma of witnessing deaths and injuries, lost faith in their ultimate survival. However, personal participation in the rescue work increased some of the survivors’ strength in the face of difficulties, and increased their confidence, helping them to regain faith that rebuilding their new home during the long-term recovery would                                                 65 This citation could also be considered as an example of seniors’ response in the emergency rescue.  198  be possible (Kun, Chen, Han, Gong, Chen, Zhang, & Yao, 2009; Xu & Song, 2011). The data released by the NDRCC and UNDP (2009) above, basically confirmed the critical role played by the rural dwellers, in the rescue work after the Wenchuan earthquake.  5.3 Long-term volunteer support and advocacy  As mentioned before, volunteers made significant contributions to the rescue work, whereas, during the reconstruction and long-term recovery stages, the central and local governments dominated the physical reconstruction. Thus, the individual volunteers’ participation in these latter stages mainly concentrated on various aspects of the social reconstruction, by informally assisting local residents to reestablish their lives, as well as formally participating in social programs, which had as their the aim the giving of support to the survivors in the process of attaching to their new communities. Here, also, a different form of volunteer participation will be examined-how the volunteers assisted the survivors to commemorate the lives of the departed and advocate for the public disclosure of the numbers and names of all the children who died in the earthquake. This kind of social repair endeavor contributed toward helping the earthquake survivors get through their “grieving process” (Axelrod, 2006), and resume their normal life in their new communities. 199  5.3.1 Teaching skills  Donating money and goods could temporarily solve the earthquake survivors’ emergency needs. However, how to assist the local residents to get out from under the effects of the earthquake trauma and return to their regular lives through their own efforts is the even more significant question (Volunteer makes uncommon promise after Wenchuan quake, 2011). Some of the volunteers, after going back home, returned to the quake-hit areas to serve there again, and others have maintained connection with the villages, towns or cities in the quake-hit area in which they had served. This will be explained further in this section (Volunteer makes uncommon promise after Wenchuan quake, 2011). Indeed, some social workers, psychological counselors, university students, etc., volunteered to do community service, counseling, and professional knowledge consultation, in such arenas as agriculture, law and computers in the local community centers, schools, and other institutions in the quake-hit areas. Medical students gave up their internship opportunities in general hospitals in big cities to render service in the local rural hospitals in quake-hit areas.  A middle-aged mother, whose daughter was seven years old and in first grade, told me that after the earthquake there were some volunteers from Hong Kong who came to work in her daughter’s elementary school. These volunteers tried to help the pupils who lost 200  their families to recover from the trauma. She excitedly told me about her daughter’s relationship with the volunteers:  My daughter refers to those young teachers from Hong Kong as sisters and brothers. She loves to play games with them. They began to teach her English. One day, she suddenly told me that she did not want to play with those sisters and brothers anymore. I asked her why? She said they treated her classmate, who was orphaned after the earthquake, very well, but then did not have time for her daughter anymore66… (8-Qingtian-R-WS+WI)   5.3.2 “Sichuan Earthquake Names Project” The phrase "tofu-dregs” was created by Zhu Rong Ji, the former Chinese premier, to satirize the quality of building materials that are substandard (Cary, 2012). Public media reports that the low quality of buildings has been causing a large number of deaths every year for a long time (Lantier, 2008). Lantier (2008) suggests that the government’s poorly carried-out administration and monitoring of construction throughout China, since the middle of the 1980s, was the main cause of these “tofu-dreg projects”. This problem was once again put in the public spotlight after the earthquake. “Tofu-dregs schoolhouses”                                                 66 These young teachers devoted more time to the schoolchildren who have experienced greater losses and were suffering the trauma of the disaster and the loss of their parents and relatives. This explains the reaction of the daughter of this woman.  201  caused more than 5,000 schoolchildren’s deaths67. The central government “estimated that over 7,000 schoolrooms collapsed during the earthquake” (Wong, 2008) (see Figure 5.6 and Figure 5.7). However, the government’s public statement underestimated the number of deaths and did not release the actual number of the deaths of schoolchildren until May 5, 2009, one year after the earthquake. The way it was originally reported to the media was that there were had been 5,335 children who had died (without any names attached). The government even inferred that the cause of the students’ deaths was from the natural disaster rather than mentioning at all about the previous faulty construction (Grube, 2009). Whereas, the parents’ accusation was that the substandard construction of the schools was the cause of the huge number of causalities among their children (Grube, 2009). As mentioned in Chapter 4, Mrs. Chang’s granddaughter died when the school building collapsed and her body was never found. Her daughter-in-law (the mother of the child) cried everyday after the earthquake and was not able to have a normal life after moving into the modern community. The trauma these earthquake survivors have been through has contributed to a great extent to the undermining of their process of reconstructing their social worlds. Accordingly, it is reasonable to assume that if the earthquake survivors could have, for the most part, overcome these traumatic events, generally, it would have been easier for them to accept their new surroundings and start building a new life. Hence,                                                 67 The earthquake happened during school time, at 2:28 pm.  202  assisting the earthquake survivors to heal from the trauma, to some extent, is the foundation upon which their settlement into their new environment and subsequent establishment of the sense of home are built on.  Figure 5.6 Sample of collapsed school building (photograph taken by Chaoping Hou, used under permission)    203  Figure 5.7 The parents of schoolchildren from Xinjian Elementary School holding a ceremony for the deceased children and their teachers (photograph taken by Chaoping Hou, used under permission)    Figure X. The picture displayed above shows the parents of deceased schoolchildren standing in the front of the collapsed school building, holding their deceased children’s pictures, protesting that their children were killed from the substandard buildings rather than from the earthquake. 204   In response to this government’s “silence”, renowned Chinese artist and human rights activist Ai Weiwei created and conducted the “Sichuan Earthquake Names Project” on his blog, requesting volunteers’ support to collect names of as many of the dead schoolchildren as possible. He also asked civil engineers to offer volunteer aid in a “construction standards investigation” that would examine the local building codes. In order to relieve the parents from their trauma, more than 50 volunteers and researchers throughout China contributed to the “Sichuan Earthquake Names Project”. Local schoolteachers, students and students’ parents were interviewed to collect the names of the dead schoolchildren, as a way of remembering and memorializing these children. People involved, however, “became targets of police harassment, or were arrested and detained” because this project was a “politically sensitive issue following accusations from parents” (Grube, 2009, paragraph 8).  Ai used schoolchildren’s backpacks to create a serpentine sculpture to commemorate the deceased children (as shown in Figure 5.8). This artistic installation was exhibited outside of