Abstract

Three jurisdictional earthquake resilience planning initiatives respectively conducted in California, Washington State, and Oregon are compared: SPUR Resilient City (SPUR), Resilient Washington State (RWS), and Oregon Resilience Plan (ORP). This paper presents an exploratory analysis that reveals divergent and convergent themes across the resilience planning initiatives, with the goal of informing similar initiatives in the future. Data for this exploratory study comes primarily from the reports produced by the initiatives, but also initiative presentations, limited correspondence with initiative organizers for clarifications, and personal experience. Extensive computer-assisted text analysis was done to analyze, synthesize, and visualize the content of the SPUR, RWS, and ORP reports Results: The SPUR initiative was the inspiration for both RWS and ORP. As such, an evolution of ideas is evident from the first initiative (SPUR) to the most recent (ORP). While the SPUR initiative was a model for the RWS and ORP initiatives, the process and outcomes of the latter two initiatives were more similar than to the original SPUR initiative. Both the RWS and ORP initiatives were significantly smaller in scope. These two initiatives also made creation of recovery-based performance measurement frameworks–timetables of expected and desired recovery estimates–even more central to the process of identifying seismic resilience recommendations. The SPUR, RWS, and ORP initiatives have had demonstrated impact on jurisdictional pre-event planning, mitigation, and preparedness efforts. However, the impact of the specific innovations developed by the three earthquake resilience planning initiatives is not clear because of the limited degree that the resilience definition and performance measurement framework for each initiative were explicitly integrated to produce the respective recommendations. For example, Washington State’s Seismic Safety Committee made recommendations similar to their RWS recommendations as part of past initiatives that did not use a resilience lens or a recovery-based performance measurement framework. More systematic research into the innovative elements of the SPUR, RWS, and ORP initiatives, such as development of the recovery-based performance measurement frameworks, is warranted given the initiatives’ popularity and influence on the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Community Resilience Planning Guide.