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Conference Agenda

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Session Overview
WED1.6: Risk in urban areas
Time: Wednesday, 29/Aug/2012: 8:30am - 10:00am
Session Chair: Robert MUIR-WOOD, RMS Ltd
Session Chair: Jiayuan YE, Beijing Normal University
Location: Sanada 1



Understanding and Measuring Urban Resilience: A new UN-Habitat's initiative


UN-Habitat, Nairobi, Kenya

The cost of urban disasters during 2011 alone is estimated at over $380 billion with the largest impacts felt in Christchurch, New Zealand; Sendai Province in Japan, and Bangkok and environs. The social and economic impact on these cities was not only felt within the immediate areas, but also nationally and globally. With 50% of the world’s population already in cities and substantial projected urban population increases over the coming decades, the rationale for new tools and approaches that strengthen the capacity of local administrations and citizens to better protect human, economic and natural assets of our towns and cities is strong.

While advances are being made in shifting emphasis from risk reduction to resilience, no means of calibrating urban resilience has been developed to date leaving city and town administrations understanding only what their inherent vulnerabilties may be. There remain gaps to discuss in strategies and tools to ensure cities actually do become measurably more resilient.

The primary justification for the URI Programme (URIP) therefore is developing an integrated forward planning urban systems approach founded on the principles of ‘resilience’ that dynamically underpin improved capacity to protect urban citizens and their assets and recover from all hazards. ‘Urban Resilience’ refers to the ability of any urban system, to withstand and recover quickly from ‘catastrophic events.’ The URIP fills a large gap providing forward-looking, integrated, multi-hazard multi-stakeholder, urban systems approach to planning and developing urban settlements.

Preliminary study of the relationship between new risk factors and traditional risk factors.

Feng KONG1,3, Peijun SHI1,2,3, Shao SUN1,3, Man LI1,3

1State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes and Resource Ecology of Beijing Normal University, China; 2Key Laboratory of Environmental Change and Natural Disaster of Ministry of Education, Beijing Normal University, China; 3Academy of Disaster Reduction and Emergency Management of Ministry of Civil Affairs and Ministry of Education, Beijing Normal University, China

Traditional risk factors fall into four categories: natural disasters, public health, accidents during production and social security. The four types of risks are called as public safety issues by the government of China . Each category of the four risk factors includes a large number of risk elements. New risk factors are the ones that are connected to human with our discoveries and more attention to them, which is called locking risk.

Currently, traditional risk factors have not been eliminated, while new risks have emerged gradually. For example, population growth or population problem, urbanization or ecological construction and environmental problems, increasing insecurity of grain, water and energy or problems of resource scarcity and economic and social problems, etc. There are countless relations between new risk and global climatic changes. Therefore, figuring out the relationships between new risks, global climatic changes as well as natural disasters is of great importance.

Taking China as the example in this study, select three sets of cross-section data in recent two decades, namely China’s county-level population data (covering rural population, urban population and total population) in 1991, 2000 and 2009 and compute the rates of population urbanization to make a diagram of urbanization rates of China’s county-level cities in the three years. And combine the diagram with China’s disaster plans or diagrams of danger degree, vulnerability and risks of a specific natural disaster, such as drought and rainstorm, to analyze the correlation between population changes and natural disasters and reveal the disaster effects of population urbanization, thereby providing a basis for disaster chain risk assessment guided by regional rules of China’s natural disaster chain, and laying a solid foundation for studying relations between new risk factors and traditional risk factors.

Vulnerability assessment of urban building stock: a hierarchic approach


1University of Aveiro, Portugal; 2University of Coimbra, Portugal

In the last decades the evaluation of the seismic risk, just as other natural phenomenon’s, are of rising concern, considered essential in the activity and definition of strategy planning and urban management. The evaluation of the seismic vulnerability of the existent building stock in the perspective of the seismic risk mitigation should not be placed only in relation to the isolated buildings of relevant historical and cultural importance, but also, in relation to the agglomerate of buildings in urban centres. The chronological construction process frequently results in characteristic heterogeneity of masonry and wall connection quality. In addition, buildings do not constitute independent units given that they share the mid-walls with adjacent buildings and the façade walls are aligned. This way, as post-seismic observations proved, buildings do not have an independent structural behaviour, but they interact amongst themselves, mainly for horizontal actions and so the structural performance should be studied at the level of the aggregate and not only for each isolated building. In most cases, for masonry structures there is no need for sophisticated dynamic analyses for seismic resistance verification or vulnerability assessment. This is even more relevant when an assessment at the level of a city centre is pursued. In this work, the results of evaluation of the vulnerability will be presented in accordance to three proposed methodologies based on a vulnerability index that consequently allows the evaluation of damage and creation of loss scenarios (economical and human) not only at the level of the building and its façade walls but also at the level of the aggregates. It will be discussed and evaluated the application of the referred methodologies and its integration in an SIG platform.

Enhancing urban resilience to extreme waters: The WASH and RESCUE Initiative


1Stockholm Environment Institute, Sweden, Kingdom of; 2Kristianstad City, Sweden

Human beings today are increasingly urbanites. At the same time, human health and security in urban areas are increasingly under threat from extreme water conditions (e.g. floods and droughts) that are projected to become much more frequent with changing climate. One of the major challenge areas for adapting our growing cities to the extreme climatic variations is the sectoral and fragmented approaches through which cities are planned and developed. To a large extent, it seems that the cross-scale linkages are neglected, and the disjuncture between knowledge and action remains a major barrier for genuine progress toward resilient cities.

The WASH and RESCUE Initiative (WAter, Sanitation and Hygiene in RESilient Cities and Urban areas adapting to Extreme waters) is a response to the above challenges. Funded by the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency and implemented by the Stockholm Environment Institute with partners around the world, the research initiative aims to assess risks in urban context with focus on water, sanitation, and human health, developing preventative actions to enhance adaptive capacity through social learning. The project will examine multiple scales – river basin, city, and technical systems – interactions in various social, ecological and cultural contexts through case studies guided by a resilience perspective. The key impact areas targeted by the initiative are 1) understanding risk, with focus on assessment approaches integrating the water, sanitation, hygiene and health aspects; 2) dealing with and reducing risk, with focus on the available preventative measures and actions; and 3) bridging knowledge to action through social learning. This presentation will first elaborate and seek feedback on the conceptual framework developed within the project to guide the case studies from around the world, followed by some preliminary results from a case study of the Kristianstad City of Sweden, one of the frontrunners in urban adaptive management and flood risk reduction.

Tale of two cities: developing city reliance strategies under climate change scenarios for Indore and Surat, India

Gopalakrishna BHAT, Umamaheshwaran RAJASEKAR, Anup KARANTH

TARU Leading Edge, India, Republic of

This article discusses the methodology adapted in designing city resilience concepts under changing climate scenarios for two cities in India, namely, Indore and Surat. The study was carried out during the second phase of Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network (ACCCRN). One of the aims for the development of this climate resilience strategy was to reduce the impacts of climate change. The strategy provides an overarching framework with clear vision and direction for improved delivery of services by the city governments and action to be undertaken by communities to avoid disasters and to promote economic development of the city as well as the metropolitan region under varying climatic conditions.

In this study, risk assessment was conducted to get a better understanding of impacts on city. City wide vulnerability assessment was carried out using GIS based vulnerability assessment techniques to gain knowledge about current vulnerability of different sections of population across space and socio-economic background. The issue of climate change is cross-cutting, therefore, sector studies were undertaken to determine the degree to which existing systems can response to varying climatic conditions. The assessment results were integrated to draw an informed resilience approach for the cities in dealing with climate variability and change.

Resilience strategy development was based on existing climate science, risk information, urban planning/development framework, current vulnerability and anticipated future risks, resource constraints, economic development and identification of critical uncertainties. These were carried out through extensive studies, information exchange between city stakeholders and consolidation from series of risk to resilience (R2R) workshops.

This study is one of the pioneering efforts towards developing urban resilience strategies under changing climate scenarios for Indian cities. The methodology adapted for the two cities are currently being owned and replicated within other cities in India by a series of government and private institutions.

Building a safe municipality Morelia, Michoacàn, Méxiko

Patricia ALARCÓN1, Manuel NOCCETI2, Rogelio DÍAZ2

1Institute for Research on Risk Management. INIGER .Morelia,México; 2The Municipality of Morelia, Michoacán.

Physiographically the municipality of Morelia, Michoacán, México is located in the south central axis of the neovolcanic zone, creating the presence of different geological and hidrometeorological hazards. In this paper will be presented the results of public policies, which were generated from the incorporation of the risk management process as a core element in the planning of development for the municipality of Morelia. The first section refers to the methodologies, models and procedures for the evaluation of threats and vulnerabilities and risk maps. The second part provides a summary from the analysis of indicators of risk management according to the criteria of the (BID), evaluated at the municipal level. And in the last section, is presented a summary of public policy development to contribute to the construction of a safe municipality

Experiences of working for improving state of community based disaster preparedness in Mumbai city


Program Director - United Way India Helpline - United Way of India & United Way Mumbai Helpline- United Way of Mumbai

This presentation will highlight the strategies for improving the level of resilience in urban communities based on the experiences gained in Mumbai city. United Way Mumbai Helpline (UWMH), a special initiative of United Way of Mumbai over the past 6 years has been striving to improve the state of community based disaster preparedness in Mumbai city through public private partnership initiatives. Interventions of UWMH focus on channelizing the disparate efforts of public and private stakeholders, creation of on-ground network of stakeholders equipped with know-how for disaster management and thereby complementing the government in disaster management. The key strategies include; firstly; Multi-Stakeholder Partnership wherein, key government and private stakeholders are engaged in process of disaster preparedness at local civic ward level, inter-agency interaction is facilitated for collective disaster response i.e. role identification, resource sharing and collaboration and capacity building of all the stakeholders by channelizing locally available expertise. Secondly; Bridging the gap between government and community by mobilizing community participation: information dissemination, preventive education, emergency communications, community mapping thorough community participation: anticipated threats, available resources and plans for matching them for disaster mitigation. Thirdly; Creating on-ground network of trained community volunteers: train various stakeholder groups: college youth, school & college teachers, citizens, corporate employees, government employees as First Responders and link them with local municipal officials. Fourthly; Community Resilience Indicators: UWMH actively contributed for developing indicators for assessing the level of community’s resilience and necessary actions under the initiative of the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai. Fifthly; Post Disaster Recovery: Relief & Rehabilitation: Immediate relief and long-term rehabilitation of disaster victims for faster recovery through Coporate Partnerships. Thorough need assessment in consultation with government and local NGOs to avoid duplication and benefit right people. Thus, the learnings are useful for replication in other mega cities for creating a resilient world.

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