About Me

Sarah-Alice Miles

Thought leader

Sarah-Alice Miles is a multidisciplinary professional with degrees in law, mediation and psychology. She was awarded a scholarship to pursue postgraduate studies in comparative private international law at the International Court of Justice (the Peace Palace) in The Hague, the Netherlands. She has worked in the investment banking industry and the insurance industries as a lawyer in both London and The Netherlands. Sarah speaks Dutch and Italian. She was born in Wales and has spent extensive periods of time in New Zealand, Italy, Spain, The Netherlands, Ghana and the United Kingdom. She lives in The Netherlands and considers herself a global citizen. Her goal is to make her voice heard for the causes in which she believes so as to improve and contribute to a more sustainable and equitable society.

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I believe in the enormous power of the human spirit and the power within each of us to effect major change

The Christchurch Fiasco 2010-2016

I was embroiled in the aftermath of the 2010-2014 Christchurch earthquakes in New Zealand which offered me a rare opportunity to examine the national policies and effectiveness of Government funding and management of catastrophe on a national scale. My findings are both surprising and disturbing. The slow and confused recovery phase led me to examine the insurance industry, locally and globally. This has revealed a clear pattern of corporate greed at the expense of citizens and has shown that the profit-driven model of private insurance can, and very often does, fail those who have paid-up policies based on “good faith” responses that are their due.

This is not a book about idealistic sociological concepts, but a revelation of actual Government administrative failure and financial risk-taking, in concert with corporate malfeasance. This is a story the wider media chooses not to publicize and consequently few people outside Christchurch are aware of the extent of the ongoing insurance battles. These are the same insurance battles fought by citizens the world over after similar catastrophic events.

The opportunistic behaviour of the insurance companies together with the lack of transparency and integrity within these corporations, is compounded by the failure of corporate watch-dogs, such as government, the legal system and regulators, all of whom have failed to protect the public interest after the recent events. In the background, behind closed doors, are the strategic alliances and the networked relationships between Government, corporates, professionals and other major stakeholders with the object of profit.

Urban Planning for Disaster Recovery

Urban Planning for Disaster Recovery focuses on disaster recovery from the perspective of urban planning, an underutilized tactic that can significantly reduce disaster risks. The book examines disaster risk reduction (DRR), in particular, the recovery stage of what is widely known as the disaster cycle.

The theoretical underpinning of the book derives from a number of sources in urban planning and disaster management literature, and is illustrated by a series of case studies. It consists of five sections, each of which opens with a conceptual framework that is followed by a series of supporting and illustrative cases as practical examples. These examples both complement and critique the theoretical base provided, demonstrating the need to apply the concepts in location-specific ways.

  • Examines disaster recovery from an urban planning perspective
  • Illustrates key concepts with real-world case studies
  • Explores the contributions of experts, urban planners, NGOs, and community members
© Copyright 2019 - Sarah-Alice Miles