Mission Statement

The Institute is dedicated to exploring ways to enhance Community Resilience, through integration of hazards mitigation principles across all aspects of community development. Our mission is to build a resource center that will enhance risk reduction activities through research, teaching, and outreach.

Key Areas of Research and Practice

Community Resilience | Hazard Mitigation | Emergency Management | Safe Development | Climate Change Response (Adaptation + Mitigation) | Public Policy Analysis | Sustainable Cities | Web-based Geographic Information Systems | Community Engagement and Outreach | Social Capacity | Scenario Planning

Key Goals

  • Develop an internationally recognized center of excellence in enhancing community resilience to hazards and climate change.
  • Create and implement courses for classroom and online learning to train young scholars in various facets of community resilience, and hazard mitigation planning.
  • Develop strong stakeholder partnerships to promote resilient and safe development practices.

Key Activities

Faculty members associated with Institute are engaged in a variety of research, training, and outreach initiatives to promote community resilience and safe development. The Institute offers:

  • Opportunities for students from various disciplines to explore, and incorporate community resilience and hazard mitigation principles into their major areas of study.
  • Service internships opportunities with private, public, and non-governmental organizations.
  • Research support and guidance for UW and non-UW researchers interested in topics of mutual interest.
  • Learning opportunities through curricula in hazards mitigation for private, public, and non-governmental organizations as a track within an environmental planning specialization.
  • Pacific North Western node for exchange of knowledge and practice learnings, both nationally and internationally.


The Institute is interdisciplinary in focus and structure, and the capabilities of the Institute are enhanced by its close relationship with other academic and research organizations. This incorporates collaboration with several other disciplines within the University of Washington including:

  • Civil Engineering
  • Geology
  • Geography
  • Marine Affairs
  • Public Affairs
  • Public Health
  • Sociology

In addition, the Institute has developed strong partnerships with other organizations to support a broad spectrum of research and outreach activities. Few of our recent partners include:

  • Hazard Reduction and Recovery Center
  • Center for Texas Beaches and Shores
  • Institute for Sustainability
  • Bush School of Public Policy
  • University of Hawaii
  • FEMA

Visiting Scholar Opportunities

The Department of Urban Design and Planning welcomes visiting faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and doctoral students from across the U.S. and around the world through the University of Washington Visiting International Student Internship & Training (VISIT) and Visiting Scholar programs. The department hosts a limited number of faculty/postdoctoral visitors and graduate student visitors (typically advanced doctoral students) each year for up to 12 months. For information on opportunities for visiting scholars, please visit http://urbdp.be.washington.edu/visiting-scholars/.