E-Mail Alert

Add your e-mail address to receive forthcoming issues of this journal:

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Special Issue "Disasters, Crisis, Hazards, Emergencies and Sustainable Development"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2018

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Ziqiang Han

Institute for Disaster Management and Reconstruction, Sichuan University-The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, China
Website | E-Mail
Interests: risk analysis and decision making; disaster recovery; disaster preparedness
Guest Editor
Dr. William L. Waugh

Andrew Young School of Policy, Georgia State University, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: emergency management; disaster recovery; institutional preparedness

Special Issue Information

We are organizing a Special Issue on “Disasters, Crisis, Hazards, Emergencies and Sustainable Development” in Sustainability. The venue is a peer-reviewed international and open access scientific journal that publishes articles and communications in the cross-disciplinary area of sustainability and sustainable development. Sustainability has a high visibility and is indexed in Clarivate Analytics (prior Thomson Reuters) Science Citation Index Expanded and the Social Sciences Citation Index database.

Hazards, disasters, crisis and emergencies are key issues threating sustainable development and sustainability. Disasters impact individuals, families, institutions, communities, and societies, not only physically, but also socially. They may cause infrastructure damage, and economic and human life loss. Thus, the wish and processes of sustainable development are always disrupted by various kinds of disasters. Another important theme under investigation is the link between recovery after disasters and sustainable development (Smith and Wenger, 2007). In order to revitalize disaster-impacted families and communities, mitigation and resilience should be integrated into the recovery process to reduce the vulnerability of communities. Therefore, in order to achieve the goal of sustainability and sustainable development, strategies, methods, and technologies for mitigating, preventing, preparing, responding and recovering from all kinds of disasters and crises are needed.

This Special Issue encourages high quality research papers and case studies on the topics of linking disasters, hazards, crisis, and emergencies with sustainability and sustainable development. Contributions on: (1) how disasters, hazards, crisis, and emergencies affect the continuity and sustainability of families, communities, institutions, or even countries; (2) how to integrate mitigation or resilience into the recovery process to build back better or to achieve sustainable development are especially welcomed. Research contributions on other related topics are also encouraged. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of disasters, hazards, crisis, and emergency research, and the cross-disciplinary nature of sustainability research, papers from all disciplines are welcomed.


Dr. Ziqiang  Han
Dr. William L.  Waugh
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • disasters

  • emergencies

  • crises

  • hazards

  • sustainable development

Published Papers (12 papers)

View options order results:
result details:
Displaying articles 1-12
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Open AccessArticle Pre-Disaster Social Capital and Disaster Recovery in Wenchuan Earthquake-Stricken Rural Communities
Sustainability 2018, 10(6), 2046; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10062046
Received: 16 April 2018 / Revised: 11 June 2018 / Accepted: 12 June 2018 / Published: 16 June 2018
PDF Full-text (224 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study examined the impact of social capital on disaster recovery in the 2008 earthquake-stricken rural communities in Wenchuan, China. The results show that quake-affected households having more social capital recovered more easily and quickly from disasters. A larger network significantly increased the
[...] Read more.
This study examined the impact of social capital on disaster recovery in the 2008 earthquake-stricken rural communities in Wenchuan, China. The results show that quake-affected households having more social capital recovered more easily and quickly from disasters. A larger network significantly increased the amount of government aid received for housing reconstruction. This indicates that network members assist the quake-affected households to apply for and obtain government aid. These findings imply that social capital, as a kind of non-institutionalized social force, facilitates earthquake-affected households’ recovery from disaster in rural China. Based on these results, this study suggests that policymakers should pay special attention to improving the social capital of existing local households to improve disaster recovery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disasters, Crisis, Hazards, Emergencies and Sustainable Development)
Open AccessArticle A Spatial DEA-Based Framework for Analyzing the Effectiveness of Disaster Risk Reduction Policy Implementation: A Case Study of Earthquake-Oriented Urban Renewal Policy in Yongkang, Taiwan
Sustainability 2018, 10(6), 1751; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10061751
Received: 22 April 2018 / Revised: 19 May 2018 / Accepted: 25 May 2018 / Published: 27 May 2018
PDF Full-text (625 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Due to the many large earthquakes that have occurred in recent years, the role of seismic risk reduction in building resilient cities has become a matter of concern. The serious disaster damage brought by seismic hazards causes the adoption of migration policies such
[...] Read more.
Due to the many large earthquakes that have occurred in recent years, the role of seismic risk reduction in building resilient cities has become a matter of concern. The serious disaster damage brought by seismic hazards causes the adoption of migration policies such as building control in the preparedness phase. However, the restricted budget of governments resulting from the global state of economic distress generates a prioritization problem. A decision support framework could be helpful for governments to systematically integrate the complex information when implementing disaster risk reduction policies toward sustainable development. The purpose of this study was to construct an analytical framework based on Geographic Information System (GIS) and Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) for addressing the prioritization problem by calculating policy efficiency. The spatial DEA-based framework combines indices calculation, spatial database construction, and DEA. Taiwan is an island located in the Circum-Pacific Belt, and has paid long-term attention to adopting policies for earthquake disaster prevention. A policy of earthquake-oriented urban renewal combining enhanced building capacity and city resilience has recently been implemented. A case study of the Yongkang district of the Tainan Metropolis in Taiwan was conducted in this study. The results show an operable framework and propose a suggestion for planning efficient policy priorities in each decision-making unit. In sum, the analytical framework proposed in this study could be a component of a decision support system for governments to adopt disaster risk reduction policies in the process of policy-making and implementation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disasters, Crisis, Hazards, Emergencies and Sustainable Development)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle A Voting TOPSIS Approach for Determining the Priorities of Areas Damaged in Disasters
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1607; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051607
Received: 8 April 2018 / Revised: 8 May 2018 / Accepted: 15 May 2018 / Published: 17 May 2018
PDF Full-text (1593 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this paper, we investigate the priority determination problem for areas that have been damaged during disasters. Relief distribution should be planned while considering the priorities of the damaged areas. To determine the priorities of the damaged areas, we first define four criteria
[...] Read more.
In this paper, we investigate the priority determination problem for areas that have been damaged during disasters. Relief distribution should be planned while considering the priorities of the damaged areas. To determine the priorities of the damaged areas, we first define four criteria and then propose a voting TOPSIS (technique for order of preference by similarity to ideal solution) that utilizes the fuzzy pair-wise comparison, data envelopment analysis, and TOPSIS. Since the voting TOPSIS is based on the voting results of multiple experts, it can be applied to urgent situations quickly, regardless of the consistency of comparison, the number of alternatives, and the number of participating experts. The proposed approach is validated using a real-world case, and this case analysis shows that the voting TOPSIS is viable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disasters, Crisis, Hazards, Emergencies and Sustainable Development)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Risks of Developing Concentrated Rural Settlement after the Wenchuan Earthquake in China
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1569; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051569
Received: 9 April 2018 / Revised: 8 May 2018 / Accepted: 9 May 2018 / Published: 15 May 2018
PDF Full-text (2100 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Concentrated rural settlement (CRS) reconstruction was promoted as a sustainable rural reconstruction way after the Wenchuan earthquake in China. Despite the various benefits of CRS, haphazard CRS reconstruction presents risks to future sustainable development. However, such risks have been rarely investigated. Thus, this
[...] Read more.
Concentrated rural settlement (CRS) reconstruction was promoted as a sustainable rural reconstruction way after the Wenchuan earthquake in China. Despite the various benefits of CRS, haphazard CRS reconstruction presents risks to future sustainable development. However, such risks have been rarely investigated. Thus, this study examines the risk factors with eight CRS reconstruction cases after the Wenchuan earthquake. The existence and interactions of economic, social, environmental, and disaster relief risks are observed after reconstruction. A conceptual model is proposed for systematically interpreting the risks. Results obtained can help the local government judiciously consider the risk factors in order to achieve sustainable development when initiating rapid reconstruction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disasters, Crisis, Hazards, Emergencies and Sustainable Development)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Assessing the Disaster Resilience of Megacities: The Case of Hong Kong
Sustainability 2018, 10(4), 1137; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10041137
Received: 9 March 2018 / Revised: 29 March 2018 / Accepted: 6 April 2018 / Published: 10 April 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3322 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Many megacities are facing potential threats from various disasters, especially in the face of climate change. However, evaluating the resilience of megacities is not well established in both the academia and practice field. Using Hong Kong, which is a megacity ranked as the
[...] Read more.
Many megacities are facing potential threats from various disasters, especially in the face of climate change. However, evaluating the resilience of megacities is not well established in both the academia and practice field. Using Hong Kong, which is a megacity ranked as the city in Asia with the highest risk for natural disasters, as a case study, we demonstrated the effort of assessing the resilience of a megacity. The Sendai Framework Local Urban Indicators Tools that was developed by the United Nation Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) was adopted as the main tool in this study, and a mixed bottom-up participatory and top-down method was utilized in the evaluation process. This is an innovative and participatory approach that is not commonly adopted in assessing the resilience of cities. The study found that Hong Kong is disaster resilient in that it mainstreams disaster risk in its development and that it dedicates sufficient financial resources. However, Hong Kong may improve on its disaster governance and encourage cooperation between the government and society to identify disaster risk and share information, particularly in the face of climate change and calls for more sustainable development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disasters, Crisis, Hazards, Emergencies and Sustainable Development)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Benefit and Risk Perceptions of Controversial Facilities: A Comparison between Local Officials and the Public in China
Sustainability 2018, 10(4), 1092; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10041092
Received: 12 February 2018 / Revised: 29 March 2018 / Accepted: 3 April 2018 / Published: 5 April 2018
PDF Full-text (1977 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This article investigates the perception biases of local government officials and the general public by comparing their benefit and risk perceptions towards controversial facilities. The analysis framework of Social Judgement Theory (SJT)—i.e., (a) economic benefits, (b) environmental health, and (c) social and political
[...] Read more.
This article investigates the perception biases of local government officials and the general public by comparing their benefit and risk perceptions towards controversial facilities. The analysis framework of Social Judgement Theory (SJT)—i.e., (a) economic benefits, (b) environmental health, and (c) social and political factors—was used to design the research. SJT is a widely recognized theoretical framework that includes experimental approaches to the study of cognitive conflicts. An experimental survey was conducted to collect data in order to make a comparison of the weight of different elements. Results demonstrate that there are perception differences between the general public and local officials on controversial facilities. Local officials responsible for endorsing and supervising plants attach more significance to environmental factors than the public, while the public focuses more on social and political factors than officials. There is no significant difference in the cognition of economic benefits. Factors such as demolition compensation and legitimacy may provoke these perception gaps. This paper enriches the current understanding of SJT and policy making for controversial facilities by investigating the perception gaps between officials and the general public. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disasters, Crisis, Hazards, Emergencies and Sustainable Development)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Assessment of Building Damage Risk by Natural Disasters in South Korea Using Decision Tree Analysis
Sustainability 2018, 10(4), 1072; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10041072
Received: 7 February 2018 / Revised: 30 March 2018 / Accepted: 2 April 2018 / Published: 4 April 2018
PDF Full-text (63094 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The purpose of this study is to identify the relationship between weather variables and buildings damaged in natural disasters. We used four datasets on building damage history and 33 weather datasets from 230 regions in South Korea in a decision tree analysis to
[...] Read more.
The purpose of this study is to identify the relationship between weather variables and buildings damaged in natural disasters. We used four datasets on building damage history and 33 weather datasets from 230 regions in South Korea in a decision tree analysis to evaluate the risk of building damage. We generated the decision tree model to determine the risk of rain, gale, and typhoon (excluding gale with less damage). Using the weight and limit values of the weather variables derived using the decision tree model, the risk of building damage was assessed for 230 regions in South Korea until 2100. The number of regions at risk of rain damage increased by more than 30% on average. Conversely, regions at risk of damage from snowfall decreased by more than 90%. The regions at risk of typhoons decreased by 57.5% on average, while those at high risk of the same increased by up to 62.5% under RCP 8.5. The results of this study are highly fluid since they are based on the uncertainty of future climate change. However, the study is meaningful because it suggests a new method for assessing disaster risk using weather indices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disasters, Crisis, Hazards, Emergencies and Sustainable Development)
Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle Traditional and Local Knowledge Practices for Disaster Risk Reduction in Northern Ghana
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 825; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10030825
Received: 13 February 2018 / Revised: 5 March 2018 / Accepted: 7 March 2018 / Published: 15 March 2018
PDF Full-text (1514 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In order to deal with recurrent disasters, like floods and droughts coupled with the limited adaptive capacity, in the semiarid regions of Northern Ghana, local communities have no choice but to apply traditional and local knowledge practices. This study seeks to identify such
[...] Read more.
In order to deal with recurrent disasters, like floods and droughts coupled with the limited adaptive capacity, in the semiarid regions of Northern Ghana, local communities have no choice but to apply traditional and local knowledge practices. This study seeks to identify such practices employed in selected rural communities in Northern Ghana and to investigate their effectiveness. Data were collected through key informant interviews, household questionnaire surveys, focus group discussions, and participant observations. The findings indicated that although diverse practices were applied to predict and manage local disaster events, skepticism prevailed among locals toward these practices regarding their effectiveness. Due to the lack of science-based tools and systems for disaster prediction and management, local communities continually depended on these knowledge systems and practices. Integrating local and traditional disaster risk reduction (DRR) efforts into modern scientific knowledge should be encouraged in order to reduce the vulnerability of local communities to disasters with thorough effectiveness evaluation protocols. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disasters, Crisis, Hazards, Emergencies and Sustainable Development)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Post-Disaster Business Recovery and Sustainable Development: A Study of 2008 Wenchuan Earthquake
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 651; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10030651
Received: 21 December 2017 / Revised: 26 January 2018 / Accepted: 27 February 2018 / Published: 28 February 2018
PDF Full-text (3423 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Business sectors are essential for community prosperity, and thus it is important to investigate the recovery of businesses after disasters. However, current studies on business recovery after natural disasters are limited, particularly a lack of empirical observations in developing countries. Our observations of
[...] Read more.
Business sectors are essential for community prosperity, and thus it is important to investigate the recovery of businesses after disasters. However, current studies on business recovery after natural disasters are limited, particularly a lack of empirical observations in developing countries. Our observations of the patterns and transformations of small businesses in the recovery process after the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake in China can bridge this gap and provide a valuable contribution to academia. We conducted research through a four-year longitudinal study to track small business recovery in Beichuan County since 2014. Field observations, repeat photography, and semi-structured interviews were used to collect data. The operating status, business type, and spatiotemporal changes of small businesses in the new business district, Banaqia, were demonstrated. Overall, less than 50% of the planned shops were occupied and in operation, and this figure keeps declining from 2014 to 2017. Catering, garments, and souvenirs are the primary business types, but they show individual patterns in terms of sustainable development and spatial configuration. The results help to inform the development of recovery policies following disasters in developing countries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disasters, Crisis, Hazards, Emergencies and Sustainable Development)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Selection of Policies on Typhoon and Rainstorm Disasters in China: A Content Analysis Perspective
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 387; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10020387
Received: 27 November 2017 / Revised: 25 January 2018 / Accepted: 25 January 2018 / Published: 1 February 2018
PDF Full-text (186 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
China is a country often subjected to severe meteorological disasters. Analyzing the evolution of policies concerning the prevention and reduction of disasters is of great practical significance for the management of such natural events. We focus on typhoons and rainstorms as disaster sources
[...] Read more.
China is a country often subjected to severe meteorological disasters. Analyzing the evolution of policies concerning the prevention and reduction of disasters is of great practical significance for the management of such natural events. We focus on typhoons and rainstorms as disaster sources and examine policy documents from two dimensions: basic policy instruments and disaster chains. Results indicate that (1) two levels of government (central and local) focus on five policy instruments; namely, they are fund and material input, infrastructure construction and management, information sharing and support, goal programming, and regulations. Other policies, however, such as engineering construction of disaster prevention, or material reserves and international cooperation, are relatively few. (2) At present, both the Central and Local governments prefer both supply-oriented policies and environment-oriented policies to focusing on demand-oriented policies. (3) As for the disaster chains, the typhoon and rainstorm disaster policies are focused on disaster defense, disaster warning, and disaster relief, neglecting disaster evaluation and post-disaster reconstruction. Finally, we put forward suggestions for perfecting the policies of disaster evaluation and post-disaster reconstruction, and point out the importance of demand-oriented policies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disasters, Crisis, Hazards, Emergencies and Sustainable Development)
Open AccessArticle Optimization of Evacuation Warnings Prior to a Hurricane Disaster
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 2152; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9112152
Received: 27 October 2017 / Revised: 18 November 2017 / Accepted: 20 November 2017 / Published: 22 November 2017
PDF Full-text (4044 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The key purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that optimization of evacuation warnings by time period and impacted zone is crucial for efficient evacuation of an area impacted by a hurricane. We assume that people behave in a manner consistent with the
[...] Read more.
The key purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that optimization of evacuation warnings by time period and impacted zone is crucial for efficient evacuation of an area impacted by a hurricane. We assume that people behave in a manner consistent with the warnings they receive. By optimizing the issuance of hurricane evacuation warnings, one can control the number of evacuees at different time intervals to avoid congestion in the process of evacuation. The warning optimization model is applied to a case study of Hurricane Sandy using the study region of Brooklyn. We first develop a model for shelter assignment and then use this outcome to model hurricane evacuation warning optimization, which prescribes an evacuation plan that maximizes the number of evacuees. A significant technical contribution is the development of an iterative greedy heuristic procedure for the nonlinear formulation, which is shown to be optimal for the case of a single evacuation zone with a single evacuee type case, while it does not guarantee optimality for multiple zones under unusual circumstances. A significant applied contribution is the demonstration of an interface of the evacuation warning method with a public transportation scheme to facilitate evacuation of a car-less population. This heuristic we employ can be readily adapted to the case where response rate is a function of evacuation number in prior periods and other variable factors. This element is also explored in the context of our experiment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disasters, Crisis, Hazards, Emergencies and Sustainable Development)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Assessing the Extent to Which the UK’s National Risk Register Supports Local Risk Management
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1991; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9111991
Received: 6 October 2017 / Revised: 26 October 2017 / Accepted: 28 October 2017 / Published: 31 October 2017
PDF Full-text (1010 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper examines how a national risk register supports the implementation of disaster risk management practices at a local level. We present a case study of the UK’s National Risk Register of Civil Emergencies and explore stakeholder understanding, views, perceptions, opinions, and application
[...] Read more.
This paper examines how a national risk register supports the implementation of disaster risk management practices at a local level. We present a case study of the UK’s National Risk Register of Civil Emergencies and explore stakeholder understanding, views, perceptions, opinions, and application within the East of England. A semi-structured interview methodology was adopted for this paper with 14 key stakeholders from across the East of England interviewed. Thematic coding analysis was used to structure the results against a set of research questions. Interviewees were found to be largely unaware of the National Risk Register, and as such its usefulness as a risk management tool is limited. In particular, restricted local resources, limited understanding of risk, and a lack of actionable strategies were highlighted as barriers to action. Opportunities for capacity building at the local level, sharing best practice, and improved risk communication were all identified. The National Risk Register could be used to improve risk management at local levels but more engagement with it at a local level is required. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disasters, Crisis, Hazards, Emergencies and Sustainable Development)
Figures

Figure 1

Back to Top