Special Issue "Urban Disaster Risk Reduction"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Urban and Rural Development".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 April 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Karoly Nemeth
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Agriculture and Environment, Massey University, ‎Palmerston North, New Zealand
Interests: volcanology; volcaniclastic sedimentation; understanding magma-water explosive interaction (phreatomagmatism); Interaction between volcanic processes and normal sedimentation; Volcanic field evolution and their preservation potential in the geological record; understanding the erosional processes of small-volume volcanoes; Mar volcanism and associated processes; volcanic hazard of dispersed volcanic fields; geoheritage and geotourism in volcanic regions. conducted researches in Central Europe, New Zealand, Samoa, Vanuatu, Japan, China, Korea, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, USA, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Argentina and Antarctica

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue invites contributions on multidisciplinary aspects of natural disasters that strike urban areas. Volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, flooding and climate-forcing extreme events are among the most common natural disasters that can strike urban areas. We are particularly looking for contributions that compare disasters occurring in urban regions to those that are associated with rural areas. In addition to descriptive contributions, this Special Issue invites works on how natural disasters impact economic, logistical or supply chain operations in urban regions. We would also like to include case studies on recent natural disasters that have hit urban regions and the responses of the local authorities (governments and NGOs). This Special Issue is also open to contributions that deal with disaster prevention or long-term geoeducational aspects to communicate and mitigate natural disaster risks for urban populations. Manuscripts of particularly-interesting perspectives, such as geoheritage, geoconservation and geoeducation relating to sustainable urban development would also be relevant to this Special Issue. Papers selected for this Special Issue are subject to a rigorous peer-review procedure with the aim of achieving rapid and wide dissemination of research results, developments and applications.

Assoc. Prof. Karoly Nemeth
Guest Editor

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 semimonthly 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 1800 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

  • Natural disaster
  • Volcanic eruption
  • Earthquake
  • Sea level change
  • Climate change
  • Natural fire
  • Supply chain
  • Geoheritage
  • Geoconservation
  • Geoeducation

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Exposure to Geo-Hydrological Hazards of the Metropolitan Area of Genoa, Italy: A Multi-Temporal Analysis of the Bisagno Stream
Sustainability 2020, 12(3), 1114; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12031114 - 04 Feb 2020
Abstract
Geo-hydrological risk reduction policies are becoming a critical challenge for environmental sustainability, both at the national and international levels. The reason is twofold: On the one hand, climate change has increase rainfall frequency and intensity, while on the other, reckless urban expansion has [...] Read more.
Geo-hydrological risk reduction policies are becoming a critical challenge for environmental sustainability, both at the national and international levels. The reason is twofold: On the one hand, climate change has increase rainfall frequency and intensity, while on the other, reckless urban expansion has increased exposure to such hazards over time. Italy is a country that is very vulnerable to flood and landslide hazard; the city of Genoa, which, in recent decades, has been frequently hit by severe floods, has risen to symbolize Italian geo-hydrological risk. Recent studies on Genoa’s geo-hydrological hazard have focused on the analysis of hydro-geomorphological features of the Bisagno stream basin, yet their main focus was on hazard control. Very little research has been done to enhance the understanding of the source of risk in such catchments. This paper presents a study on the increased urban exposure and vulnerability to geo-hydrological hazard along the Bisagno stream catchment area over the last 200 years. Morphometric analyses were coupled with historical documents showing the evolution of the urban layout in this area. The results show that the “Bisagno Master Plan”, a territorial planning strategy aimed at reducing geo-hydrological hazard and risk, has not produced the expected benefits. In spite of the plan, critical changes in land use and the hydrographic network, along with uncontrolled anthropization of the Genoa metropolitan area, has continued over the last two decades. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Disaster Risk Reduction)
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Open AccessArticle
Seismic Resilience Enhancement of Urban Water Distribution System Using Restoration Priority of Pipeline Damages
Sustainability 2020, 12(3), 914; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12030914 - 26 Jan 2020
Abstract
The malfunction of the water distribution system (WDS) following severe earthquakes have significant impacts on the post-earthquake rescue. Moreover, the restoration priority of earthquake-induced pipeline damages plays an important role in improving the post-earthquake serviceability of WDS and the “seismic resilience”. Thus, to [...] Read more.
The malfunction of the water distribution system (WDS) following severe earthquakes have significant impacts on the post-earthquake rescue. Moreover, the restoration priority of earthquake-induced pipeline damages plays an important role in improving the post-earthquake serviceability of WDS and the “seismic resilience”. Thus, to enhance the seismic resilience of WDS, this study develops a dynamic cost-benefit method and introduces three existing methods to determine the restoration priority of pipeline damages based on a quantitative resilience evaluation framework. In this resilience evaluation framework, the restoration priority is firstly determined. Then the time-varying performance of post-earthquake WDS is modeled as a discrete event dynamic system. In this model, the system state changes after the reparation of pipeline damage, and the system performance is simulated by a hydraulic model to be consistent with the system state. In this study, this method is also tested and compared with other existing methods, and the results show that the system resilience corresponding to the restoration priority obtained by this method is close to that obtained by the global optimization method with a relative difference of less than 3%, whereas the calculation complexity is about 0.4% of the optimization model. It is concluded that this proposed method is valid. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Disaster Risk Reduction)
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Open AccessArticle
A Comprehensive Method for Evaluating Marine Disaster Risk Reduction Capacity in China
Sustainability 2020, 12(3), 825; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12030825 - 22 Jan 2020
Abstract
A region’s capacity for marine disaster risk reduction is characterized by the resources that can be mobilized. These resources include pre-disaster defense, disaster monitoring, warning, emergency response, post-disaster restoration, and reconstruction. It is a very important index to effectively evaluate the regional capacity [...] Read more.
A region’s capacity for marine disaster risk reduction is characterized by the resources that can be mobilized. These resources include pre-disaster defense, disaster monitoring, warning, emergency response, post-disaster restoration, and reconstruction. It is a very important index to effectively evaluate the regional capacity to overcome marine disasters. At present, there is no unified model and method for comprehensively evaluating the regional marine disaster reduction capacity. This study proposes a novel evaluation index system for a county-level administrative region using expert opinions, questionnaires, and analytic hierarchy process methods. Based on the comprehensive evaluation in three pilot areas, the current situation of regional marine disaster reduction capacity is analyzed, which would contribute to the effective management of marine disaster risks in the future. The results and experiences are of great value to future disaster reduction capacity assessment promotion and practice in all coastal counties of China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Disaster Risk Reduction)
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Open AccessArticle
MAS-Based Evacuation Simulation of an Urban Community during an Urban Rainstorm Disaster in China
Sustainability 2020, 12(2), 546; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12020546 - 10 Jan 2020
Abstract
The frequent occurrence of urban waterlogging constantly affects cities’ stability, bringing about a lot of economic losses and casualties. Coupled with the deficient rescue activities, waterlogging often exacerbates the impact of urban rainstorm disasters. By setting up a diverse distribution of shelters and [...] Read more.
The frequent occurrence of urban waterlogging constantly affects cities’ stability, bringing about a lot of economic losses and casualties. Coupled with the deficient rescue activities, waterlogging often exacerbates the impact of urban rainstorm disasters. By setting up a diverse distribution of shelters and various types of pedestrians, the evacuation route choice of pedestrians in an urban rainstorm disaster is simulated and analyzed through multi-agent system simulation. Then, clustering analysis is applied to discover population characteristics in different survival scenarios. The simulations for sustainable rescue after pedestrians reach the shelters are also carried out. It was found that the pedestrians’ herd mentality and the distribution of shelters have a significant impact on the success rate of post-disaster evacuation. The results could help pedestrians to make decisions in the evacuation. The wide scope of the shelters’ allocation facilitates the effect of disaster relief. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Disaster Risk Reduction)
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Open AccessArticle
Risk Prediction of Sinkhole Occurrence for Different Subsurface Soil Profiles due to Leakage from Underground Sewer and Water Pipelines
Sustainability 2020, 12(1), 310; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12010310 - 31 Dec 2019
Abstract
A sinkhole is a ground surface depression that may occur with or without any indications on the surface and often pose danger to both properties and people. Leakage from underground pipe mains in urban areas may cause sudden ground subsidence or sinkholes. For [...] Read more.
A sinkhole is a ground surface depression that may occur with or without any indications on the surface and often pose danger to both properties and people. Leakage from underground pipe mains in urban areas may cause sudden ground subsidence or sinkholes. For a long time, researchers have been working on the hazard and risk assessment of sinkhole formation, especially natural sinkholes. However, much less work has been done on risk prediction and the mechanism of manmade sinkholes. In this study, different versions of small-scale sinkhole physical models were used in experiments to monitor ground surface settlement or collapse due to leakage from an underground pipeline. The factors under consideration were the type of subsurface soil profile, type of water flow, and leakage position in the pipeline. The ultimate goal was to use this information to predict the risk of sinkhole occurrence due to leakage from sewer or water pipelines under different subsurface soil conditions. The experimental results and statistical analysis showed that the subsurface soil strata conditions dominated the mechanism of sinkhole occurrence, although other factors also have contributed to the settlement. Then, this analysis was used to predict the sinkhole risk level under different conditions. The development of a reliable sinkhole risk prediction system can potentially minimize the risk to human lives and infrastructure. These findings can be applied to the development of a sinkhole risk index (SRI) that considers various other factors influencing sinkhole occurrence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Disaster Risk Reduction)
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Open AccessArticle
Pre-Disaster Retrofit Decisions for Sustainable Transportation Systems in Urban Areas
Sustainability 2019, 11(15), 4044; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11154044 - 26 Jul 2019
Abstract
A transportation system is an important material base for implementing timely rescue and emergency evacuation after disasters in urban areas. In order to reduce disaster risks and develop sustainable transportation systems, it is important to improve their resilience and ensure their reliability. This [...] Read more.
A transportation system is an important material base for implementing timely rescue and emergency evacuation after disasters in urban areas. In order to reduce disaster risks and develop sustainable transportation systems, it is important to improve their resilience and ensure their reliability. This paper mainly studies pre-disaster retrofit decisions for sustainable transportation systems in urban areas. As the optimization goal, pre-disaster retrofit costs and post-disaster restoration costs under constraints of post-disaster system connectivity, travel time reliability, and post-disaster link capacity are taken into account to construct a bi-level stochastic programming model. A method based on the simulated annealing algorithm and Frank–Wolfe algorithm is used to solve the problem. The case study shows that the calculation is quick, and the result is reasonable. The study result proves that the method proposed in this paper can provide an effective solution to such problems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Disaster Risk Reduction)
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Open AccessArticle
Social Perception of Geo-Hydrological Risk in the Context of Urban Disaster Risk Reduction: A Comparison between Experts and Population in an Area of Southern Italy
Sustainability 2019, 11(7), 2061; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11072061 - 07 Apr 2019
Cited by 8
Abstract
The perception of risk is influenced by how the signals about impacts of events are collected, selected, and interpreted. Empirical data suggest that significant differences in the perception of risk occur within the non-expert population itself, as well as between experts and non-expert [...] Read more.
The perception of risk is influenced by how the signals about impacts of events are collected, selected, and interpreted. Empirical data suggest that significant differences in the perception of risk occur within the non-expert population itself, as well as between experts and non-expert population. The paper seeks to examine the risk perception of citizens living in an area subject to high hydro-geological risk of Calabria (Southern Italy), and understanding if local policy makers are aware of how local residents perceive risk. Quantitative and qualitative methods were employed to analyze the perception of experts, stakeholders and citizens on the following research topics: (i) perception of geohydrological risk, involvement in past events and behavior exhibited; (ii) information, communication, preparedness, and feeling of safety and trust. The results of the survey showed the communication gap between experts and people, evidencing the need for local authorities and experts to disseminate the culture of awareness on the risk and to increase the safety level of the citizens by means of participated actions aimed at reducing urban disaster risk. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Disaster Risk Reduction)
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Open AccessArticle
How Development Affects News Media Coverage of Earthquakes: Implications for Disaster Risk Reduction in Observing Communities
Sustainability 2019, 11(7), 1970; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11071970 - 03 Apr 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
Previous research suggests that lesson-drawing news coverage of disasters can create windows of opportunity for policy learning in the observing communities. This is especially important for cities facing similar vulnerabilities to disaster-affected communities, where they can learn from their events to pursue disaster [...] Read more.
Previous research suggests that lesson-drawing news coverage of disasters can create windows of opportunity for policy learning in the observing communities. This is especially important for cities facing similar vulnerabilities to disaster-affected communities, where they can learn from their events to pursue disaster risk reduction policies to mitigate against those risks at home. However, little is known about the conditions under which newspapers in at-risk communities provide the type of news coverage necessary for policy learning. Using logistic regression to analyze an original dataset produced from a content analysis of five newspapers’ coverage of five earthquakes, we demonstrate that the level of development of the disaster-stricken community systematically influences the nature of news coverage in at-risk communities. These results have important implications for the understanding of urban disaster risk reduction, suggesting that the conditions for bottom-up policy learning are more likely to occur following disasters in wealthier countries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Disaster Risk Reduction)
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Open AccessArticle
Economic Value of Building a Firefighter Training Academy for Urban Disaster Management in Seoul, South Korea
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4613; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124613 - 05 Dec 2018
Abstract
The Seoul Metropolitan Government plans to build a new firefighter training academy (FTA) for urban disaster management. The Government needs information about its economic value to determine whether building a FTA is socially desirable. This paper aims to estimate the economic value of [...] Read more.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government plans to build a new firefighter training academy (FTA) for urban disaster management. The Government needs information about its economic value to determine whether building a FTA is socially desirable. This paper aims to estimate the economic value of the FTA by applying a choice experiment (CE) method through a survey of firefighters who do on-site fire prevention activities in Seoul. The annual economic values of six training centers were estimated using the data from a total of 1658 firefighters who responded to the CE survey questionnaire, with a 1% statistical significance level. The economic value of the FTA amounts to KRW 10.04 billion (USD 8.80 million) annually. Given the 30-year operating period, the present value is KRW 129.86 billion, which can be seen as the economic benefit of building the FTA. The present value of the costs for the construction and operation of the FTA is KRW 54.66 billion (USD 48.30 million). As the benefits outweigh the costs, it can be concluded that it is socially profitable to build the FTA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Disaster Risk Reduction)
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Open AccessArticle
Disaster Impact, National Aid, and Economic Growth: Evidence from the 2008 Wenchuan Earthquake
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4409; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124409 - 26 Nov 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
How disasters have affected economic growth has often been a subject for economic debate, and empirical studies of the experience in China are clearly inadequate. Using the panel data from 181 county-level cities in Sichuan province from 2003 to 2013, this paper investigates [...] Read more.
How disasters have affected economic growth has often been a subject for economic debate, and empirical studies of the experience in China are clearly inadequate. Using the panel data from 181 county-level cities in Sichuan province from 2003 to 2013, this paper investigates the direct and dynamic effects of the Wenchuan earthquake disaster on economic growth, as well as how national rescue affected postdisaster economic recovery. The econometric results show that earthquakes significantly reduce real GDP in the affected areas after controlling for the national rescue variables, and this negative effect exists in the affected area over a long time. In addition, our empirical findings suggest that the postdisaster national rescue can promote economic recovery in the affected areas by increasing government expenditure, improving traffic conditions, and enhancing the urbanization process and the level of industrialization. Besides, state financial aid has no obvious effect on the development of tertiary industries and the accumulation of human capital in affected areas. These results were found to be robust after applying several approaches to alleviate the potential endogeneity problem. Findings in this study carry several important policy implications. As well as providing national rescue to promote postdisaster reconstruction, the government should also develop policies that will provide direct aid funding to tertiary industries and boost postdisaster economic reconstruction and human capital accumulation, thus improving the efficiency of relief funding and reducing the long-term adverse effects of the disaster on economic growth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Disaster Risk Reduction)
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Open AccessArticle
A Comparison of Different Reconstruction Modes and Adaptive Evaluation Systems for Community Recovery Following the Wenchuan Earthquake
Sustainability 2018, 10(11), 4115; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10114115 - 09 Nov 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
Living environment reconstruction in Wenchuan earthquake disaster-hit areas received substantial attention internationally, so it is imperative to examine out the methods employed, to evaluate community reconstruction and recovery performances. However, the existing evaluation systems for post-disaster reconstruction practices are mostly generalized models, and [...] Read more.
Living environment reconstruction in Wenchuan earthquake disaster-hit areas received substantial attention internationally, so it is imperative to examine out the methods employed, to evaluate community reconstruction and recovery performances. However, the existing evaluation systems for post-disaster reconstruction practices are mostly generalized models, and thus, the actual differences among various reconstruction modes and local characteristics are given insufficient attention. After 10 years of reconstruction and recovery, Dujiangyan, Beichuan, and Wenchuan have exhibited distinct differences and characteristics because of two different reconstruction modes: “paired assistance” and “self-construction”. Based on a thorough review of the literature and expert judgments, this article focuses on the introduction of evaluation factors comprising the opinions and requirements of disaster victims. Adopting the “four-step method” to select the evaluation factors through conceptual consolidation, analytical structuring, indicator identification, and index creation, this article summarizes the homogeneities and heterogeneities of the three different areas. The results reveal that people in different areas under the influences of different reconstruction modes and local characteristics will emphasize different evaluation factors and demonstrate different levels of concern for the same factor. This article analyzes the three areas and establishes an adaptable evaluation index system to provide scientific guidance to community recovery evaluations in different areas after major disasters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Disaster Risk Reduction)
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