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The Reconstruction of Post-Tsunami Banda Aceh, Indonesia: A spatial analysis of the rebuilding of structures, roads, and productive land


Post-disaster reconstruction is an essential activity for restoring the health and wellbeing of affected communities. Therefore, the ability to monitor and evaluate the rebuilding and repair of the physical environment is critical for assessing the reconstruction process and its outcomes. This dissertation utilized satellite imagery, spatial data, and geographic information systems (GIS) to examine the reconstruction of Banda Aceh, Indonesia after the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. The reconstruction process was assessed by the quantities and spatial distributions of structures, roads, and aquaculture ponds (tambaks) in two specific regions of the city from 2005 to 2008. While there were gains in some areas, there were also substantial losses in others. In comparison to the pre-tsunami baseline (2004), there were more structures, a greater total length of roads, greater access to roads, and an equivalent amount of tambak area in the southern region of interest by the end of the study period. In the northern region, there was a return to a state similar to that of its 2004 baseline with respect to structures and roads; however, total tambak land area was still far below that of the pre-tsunami period. While both regions saw increases in road network access, both regions may have suffered from the redistribution of structures, higher structure densities, and smaller structure sizes. Yet, despite those and other noted difficulties in the process, the reconstruction of structures, roads, and tambaks was successful in returning the examined portions of Banda Aceh to, or above, its baseline state, restoring means of shelter, transportation, sustenance, and employment.

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