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From our Expert Voices conversation on Puerto Rico's recovery from Hurricane Maria.

If other post-disaster recovery efforts are any indication, then Puerto Rico will go through three phases of recovery:

  1. Basic needs: water, shelter, energy, and sanitation
  2. Engagement of resources for rebuilding: large amounts of money, time, and energy to restore services and resume job and school attendance
  3. Reparation of emotional and mental anguish: healthy and sustainable re-inhabitation of neighborhoods and homes with attention to both physical infrastructure and emotional trauma

At the same time, Puerto Rico also has many unique characteristics that can amplify current challenges. The concentration of administrative power in San Juan, for example, may hamper decision making for, or resource allocation to, the municipal level. Municipalities will be at the forefront of recovery efforts because of their ability to engage local communities and their mandate to use urban regional planning strategies, which can improve public health and safety through climate-resilient design.

A critical question that remains is whether Puerto Rico will rebuild with a recognition that these extreme events will increase in their frequency, duration, and intensity.

Why it matters: Rebuilding offers an opportunity to integrate new knowledge about extreme climate events into municipal planning and business operations.

Other voices in the conversation:

Go deeper

Updated 30 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Inauguration Day dashboard

Screenshot: Fox News

President Trump has delivered a farewell speech and departed Washington for the last time on Air Force One, kicking off the day that will culminate with President-elect Joe Biden taking office.

What's next: The inaugural celebration for young Americans is being livestreamed, starting at 10am.

Updated 47 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Trump departs on final Air Force One flight

President Trump and his family took off on Air Force One at 9 a.m. on Wednesday morning for the final time en route to Florida.

The big picture: Trump's final hours as president were punctuated by his decisions to snub his successor's inauguration and grant pardons to many of his allies who have been swept up in corruption scandals.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Janet Yellen said all the right things to reassure the markets

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Treasury Secretary nominee and former Fed chair Janet Yellen's confirmation hearing before the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday showed markets just what they can expect from the administration of President-elect Joe Biden: more of what they got under President Trump — at least for now.

What it means: Investors and big companies reaped the benefits of ultralow U.S. interest rates and low taxes for most of Trump's term as well as significant increases in government spending, even before the coronavirus pandemic.