Supports fundamental research on the interactions between humans and the built environment within and among communities exposed to natural, technological and other types of hazards and disasters.
The Humans, Disasters and the Built Environment (HDBE) program supports fundamental, multidisciplinary research on the interactions between humans and the built environment within and among communities exposed to natural, technological and other types of hazards and disasters. The program's context is provided by ongoing and emerging changes in three interwoven elements of a community: its population, its built environment (critical infrastructures, physical and virtual spaces, and buildings and related structures) and the hazards and disasters to which it is exposed. The HDBE program seeks research that integrates these elements and that can contribute to theories that hold over a broad range of scales and conditions. Examples include but are not limited to unified frameworks and theoretical models that encompass non-hazard to extreme hazard and disaster conditions, theoretical and empirical studies that consider how interactions between a community's population and its built environment may suppress or amplify hazard exposure or its effects, and studies that seek to inform scholarship through the development of shared data and related resources. In these and other areas funded through the HDBE program, research that challenges conventional wisdom on the interactions among humans, the built environment and hazards and disasters is particularly encouraged. Given the richness of the phenomena under study, the HDBE program seeks research that advances theories, methods and data within and across diverse disciplines, whether in engineering, the social sciences, computing or other relevant fields. Ultimately, research funded through this program is expected to inform how communities can cultivate and engage a broad range of physical, social and other resources to ensure improved quality of life for their inhabitants.