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Special Issue "Resilience to Natural and Man-Made Disasters"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2017)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Alexandru Ozunu

Faculty of Environmental Science and Engineering, Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Website | E-Mail
Interests: disaster management; resilience; chemistry; industry; risk mitigation
Guest Editor
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Dacinia Crina Petrescu

Faculty of Business, Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Website | E-Mail
Interests: consumer behavior; negotiation; environment; economics; sustainable development

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

“Resilience” is a term largely used in the context of political debates, policies, and programming around climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction, and it should be central to scientific investigation if an effective and fair progress of human society is to be achieved. Building resilience to risks and disasters is internationally acknowledged and proclaimed by many EU and international bodies engaged in sustainable development. The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030 particularly stresses the urgency of addressing disaster resilience for a more effective protection of people, their livelihoods, health, cultural heritage, socioeconomic assets, and ecosystems. Hence, identification, assessment, monitoring, planning, preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation are necessary to achieve the goals of resilience. Disaster risk reduction measures need to be integrated in development programs related to sustainable development, natural resource management, the environment, poverty reduction, urban development, and adaptation to climate change. These are some of the topics that will be addressed in the articles included in this Special Issue.

This Special Issue will comprise selected papers from the 11th International Conference on “Environmental Legislation, Safety Engineering and Disaster Management” (ELSEDIMA; http://elsedima.conference.ubbcluj.ro/) and other papers focused on and related to “Resilience to Natural and Man-Made Disasters”.

Authors who presented their papers at the conference are invited to submit their manuscripts to the Guest Editors for preliminary evaluation. Accepted papers will be then submitted by the authors to Sustainability and enter the peer-review process.

Researchers who did not attended the 11th ELSEDIMA Conference are also invited to develop and submit empirical papers, theoretical manuscripts, and literature reviews on the topic of “Resilience to Natural and Man-Made Disasters”.

All papers selected for this Special Issue will undertake a rigorous peer-review process.

Prof. Dr. Alexandru Ozunu
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Dacinia Crina Petrescu
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

  • Resilience
  • Disaster Management
  • Sustainable Development
  • Disaster Risk Reduction
  • Climate Change Adaptation
  • Efficient Emergency Response
  • Environmental Pollution Prevention, Control, and Research
  • Environmental Economics
  • Policies and Legislation

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Analysis of the Population Assistance and Returning Home in the Reconstruction Process of the 2009 L’Aquila Earthquake
Sustainability 2017, 9(8), 1395; doi:10.3390/su9081395
Received: 24 May 2017 / Revised: 21 July 2017 / Accepted: 4 August 2017 / Published: 8 August 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (4944 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The 2009 L’Aquila earthquake left approximately 67,000 homeless people. The earthquake severely damaged facilities, structures, and infrastructure of L’Aquila town, the capital of Abruzzo region, as well as 56 other municipalities in the so-called “crater”. The resident population in the crater area at
[...] Read more.
The 2009 L’Aquila earthquake left approximately 67,000 homeless people. The earthquake severely damaged facilities, structures, and infrastructure of L’Aquila town, the capital of Abruzzo region, as well as 56 other municipalities in the so-called “crater”. The resident population in the crater area at the time of the earthquake included 68,503 inhabitants in the city of L’Aquila and 71,081 in other municipalities of the crater, yielding a total of 139,584 inhabitants. Several solutions were adopted to host homeless people in the immediate emergency phase; then, temporary accommodations were built to host people up to the completion of the reconstruction process. This paper analyzes the timeline by which people who lived in L’Aquila city at the time of earthquake was enabled to return to their houses, either repaired and strengthened or rebuilt. In particular, this analysis covers the first phase of the reconstruction process as well as its second phase, which is currently still ongoing in L’Aquila’s historical centers. The trend of a population returning home discussed herein has been determined based on data collected from different databases given by several institutions engaged in the emergency and reconstruction phases; this allowed an estimation of the number of people returned to their homes over time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Resilience to Natural and Man-Made Disasters)
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Open AccessArticle Graphical Methodology of Global Pollution Index for the Environmental Impact Assessment Using Two Environmental Components
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 593; doi:10.3390/su9040593
Received: 8 February 2017 / Revised: 3 April 2017 / Accepted: 5 April 2017 / Published: 12 April 2017
PDF Full-text (926 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
One of the applied methods for environmental impact assessment is the index of global pollution (IGP) proposed by Rojanschi in 1991. This methodology enables the global estimation for the ecosystem state affected more or less by human activities. Unfortunately, Rojanschi’s
[...] Read more.
One of the applied methods for environmental impact assessment is the index of global pollution (IGP) proposed by Rojanschi in 1991. This methodology enables the global estimation for the ecosystem state affected more or less by human activities. Unfortunately, Rojanschi’s method has a limitation; it can be applied only if at least three environmental components are considered. Frequently, many environmental impact assessment applications rely on analysis of only two environmental components. Therefore, this work aimed to develop a new graphical method to extend Rojanschi’s approach for the case of two environmental components. The proposed method avoids the average value of evaluation grades and uses only the graphical correspondence for calculation of the index of global pollution. A right-angle triangle graph methodology was proposed, where bases represented the values of evaluation grades. Thus, for the case of two environmental components, the index of global pollution was calculated as the relation between the ideal and real ecosystem states represented by the ratio between areas of external and enclosed right triangles. The developed graphical method was tested and validated for real case studies: the environmental impact assessment from a refinery located on the Romanian Black Sea Coast considering Air and Water environmental components and from a coal-fired thermoelectric power plant from Eastern Romania regarding Air and Soil environmental components. In this way, it was provided a reliable and faster tool to be used for the pollution characterization of human-derived chemicals for better decisions in risk management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Resilience to Natural and Man-Made Disasters)
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Open AccessArticle Renewable Energy Project as a Source of Innovation in Rural Communities: Lessons from the Periphery
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 509; doi:10.3390/su9040509
Received: 16 January 2017 / Revised: 12 March 2017 / Accepted: 22 March 2017 / Published: 28 March 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1592 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Renewable energy projects (REPs) are viewed as a resource for the development of rural, peripheral communities. Going beyond the simplistic understanding of renewable energy technology as an independent variable, the current study looks into what the interaction between renewables and host communities brings
[...] Read more.
Renewable energy projects (REPs) are viewed as a resource for the development of rural, peripheral communities. Going beyond the simplistic understanding of renewable energy technology as an independent variable, the current study looks into what the interaction between renewables and host communities brings in terms of innovation and development. Relying on a combination of primary and secondary data, both qualitative and quantitative, we observed that for the case of northwest Romania the fast development of REPs had no impact on classic economic indicators such as employment or revenue to the local budget. Looking closely at the impact on innovation as an important explanatory factor of peripheralization, in the majority of researched cases we saw no technical nor policy-related innovation associated with REPs. The presence of a privately-owned project in the territory of the community acted as a possible catalyst for considering developing their own REPs however. Owning a renewable energy project at the same time proved to have a positive impact on policy-related innovation. Moreover, communities that developed and manage their own REPs seem also to be more interested in changing the existing technological arrangements as well. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Resilience to Natural and Man-Made Disasters)
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Open AccessArticle Towards Urban Resilience: A Multi-Criteria Analysis of Seismic Vulnerability in Iasi City (Romania)
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 270; doi:10.3390/su9020270
Received: 11 December 2016 / Revised: 18 January 2017 / Accepted: 8 February 2017 / Published: 15 February 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (6755 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
When relating to hazards such as earthquakes, a primary task of a resilience approach is to evaluate vulnerability in an integrative manner by taking into account the most relevant indicators. Focused on Iasi, one of the major Romanian cities which are exposed to
[...] Read more.
When relating to hazards such as earthquakes, a primary task of a resilience approach is to evaluate vulnerability in an integrative manner by taking into account the most relevant indicators. Focused on Iasi, one of the major Romanian cities which are exposed to the earthquakes originating in Vrancea area, this study aims to assess seismic vulnerability using a multi-criteria analysis of buildings infrastructure and social vulnerability. Several indicators are taken into account, such as physical (related to the characteristics of buildings and terrain) and social indicators (related to population and economic income), as well as the accessibility from/to emergency services/hospitals. The indicators were processed by standardization (Z score), processed and correlated using the principal components analysis (PCA) and integrated within an Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP). By summing the weighted values of the standardized indicators, a (integrated) seismic vulnerability index was obtained. It is a pre-assessment of the seismic vulnerability in Iasi City and also a prerequisite for the identification of the necessary prevention measures to be taken in compliance with the identified spatial patterns of vulnerability as a part of a resilient approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Resilience to Natural and Man-Made Disasters)
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Open AccessArticle A Spatial Analytic Hierarchy Process for Identification of Water Pollution with GIS Software in an Eco-Economy Environment
Sustainability 2016, 8(11), 1208; doi:10.3390/su8111208
Received: 13 September 2016 / Revised: 22 October 2016 / Accepted: 10 November 2016 / Published: 23 November 2016
PDF Full-text (14327 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Water pollution has become a global problem and its impact on the health of the human population is growing day by day. This study aims to assess the pollution of the Cibin River (Romania) by a physicochemical analysis. Water samples have been collected
[...] Read more.
Water pollution has become a global problem and its impact on the health of the human population is growing day by day. This study aims to assess the pollution of the Cibin River (Romania) by a physicochemical analysis. Water samples have been collected from four locations along the Cibin River over a period of 12 months. At this time, there are several commonly used Multiple-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) methods for the assessing the impact of pollutants on the environment. In this research, we used the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) multi-criteria method to evaluate each sampling station’s physicochemical parameters. The significant results place the river in the first (sampling stations 1, 2 and 3) and second (sampling stations 4) water quality classes. Another significant result of this work is that the research using GIS software allowed an integrated automatic data collection system and displays interactive results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Resilience to Natural and Man-Made Disasters)
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Open AccessArticle Automatic Type Recognition and Mapping of Global Tropical Cyclone Disaster Chains (TDC)
Sustainability 2016, 8(10), 1066; doi:10.3390/su8101066
Received: 26 July 2016 / Revised: 27 September 2016 / Accepted: 18 October 2016 / Published: 21 October 2016
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Abstract
The catastrophic events caused by meteorological disasters are becoming more severe in the context of global warming. The disaster chains triggered by Tropical Cyclones induce the serious losses of population and economy. It is necessary to make the regional type recognition of Tropical
[...] Read more.
The catastrophic events caused by meteorological disasters are becoming more severe in the context of global warming. The disaster chains triggered by Tropical Cyclones induce the serious losses of population and economy. It is necessary to make the regional type recognition of Tropical Cyclone Disaster Chain (TDC) effective in order to make targeted preventions. This study mainly explores the method of automatic recognition and the mapping of TDC and designs a software system. We constructed an automatic recognition system in terms of the characteristics of a hazard-formative environment based on the theory of a natural disaster system. The ArcEngine components enable an intelligent software system to present results by the automatic mapping approach. The study data comes from global metadata such as Digital Elevation Model (DEM), terrain slope, population density and Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The result shows that: (1) according to the characteristic of geomorphology type, we establish a type of recognition system for global TDC; (2) based on the recognition principle, we design a software system with the functions of automatic recognition and mapping; and (3) we validate the type of distribution in terms of real cases of TDC. The result shows that the automatic recognition function has good reliability. The study can provide the basis for targeted regional disaster prevention strategy, as well as regional sustainable development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Resilience to Natural and Man-Made Disasters)
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Open AccessArticle Drought Risk Assessment Based on Vulnerability Surfaces: A Case Study of Maize
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 813; doi:10.3390/su8080813
Received: 14 June 2016 / Revised: 3 August 2016 / Accepted: 11 August 2016 / Published: 18 August 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (9479 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Agriculture is a sector easily affected by meteorological conditions. Crop yield reduction, even regional conflicts, may occur during a drought. It is extremely important to improve the state of our knowledge on agricultural drought risk. This study has proposed a new method (vulnerability
[...] Read more.
Agriculture is a sector easily affected by meteorological conditions. Crop yield reduction, even regional conflicts, may occur during a drought. It is extremely important to improve the state of our knowledge on agricultural drought risk. This study has proposed a new method (vulnerability surfaces) for assessing vulnerability quantitatively and continuously by including the environmental variable as an additional perspective on exposure and assessed global maize drought risk based on these surfaces. In this research, based on the Environmental Policy Impact Climate (EPIC) model, irrigation scenarios were adopted to fit “Loss rate-Drought index-Environmental indicator (L-D-E)” vulnerability surfaces by constructing a database suitable for risk assessment on a large scale. Global maize drought risk was quantitatively assessed based on its optimal vulnerability surface. The results showed an R2 for the optimal vulnerability surface of 0.9934, with coarse fragment content as the environmental indicator. The expected global average annual yield loss rate due to drought was 19.18%. The global average yield loss rate due to drought with different return periods (10a, 20a, 50a, and 100a) was 29.18%, 32.76%, 36.89%, and 38.26%, respectively. From a global perspective, Central Asia, the Iberian Peninsula, Eastern Africa, the Midwestern United States, Chile, and Brazil are the areas with the highest maize drought risk. The vulnerability surface is a further development of the vulnerability curve as a continuous expression of vulnerability and considers differences in environmental factors. It can reflect the spatial heterogeneity of crop vulnerability and can be applied in large-scale risk assessment research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Resilience to Natural and Man-Made Disasters)
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Review

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Open AccessReview Environmental Impacts of Sand Exploitation. Analysis of Sand Market
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1118; doi:10.3390/su9071118
Received: 17 May 2017 / Revised: 15 June 2017 / Accepted: 21 June 2017 / Published: 26 June 2017
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Abstract
Sand is an indispensable natural resource for any society. Despite society’s increasing dependence on sand, there are major challenges that this industry needs to deal with: limited sand resources, illegal mining, and environmental impact of sand mining. The purpose of this paper is
[...] Read more.
Sand is an indispensable natural resource for any society. Despite society’s increasing dependence on sand, there are major challenges that this industry needs to deal with: limited sand resources, illegal mining, and environmental impact of sand mining. The purpose of this paper is twofold: to present an overview of the sand market, highlighting the main trends and actors for production, export and import, and to review the main environmental impacts associated with sand exploitation process. Based on these findings, we recommend different measures to be followed to reduce negative impacts. Sand mining should be done in a way that limits environmental damage during exploitation and restores the land after mining operations are completed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Resilience to Natural and Man-Made Disasters)
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