Special Issue "Simulations and Methods for Disaster Risk Reduction in Sustainable Built Environments"
A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 June 2021).
Interests: Safety in built environment; risk assessment, analysis and management of the built environment; human factor in emergency; human behaviors in emergency; simulation modeling; decision-making during emergencies; evacuation and pedestrian modelling; human behavior in fire and earthquakes; behavioral simulations; evacuation simulation; Building Heritage
Interests: Modeling and simulation; scientific computing; pedestrian dynamics: models for movement of people, agent models, modeling social and psychological aspects; model verification; model calibration; model validation; data-driven surrogate models; model reduction; quantification of uncertainties; sensitivity studies
This Special Issue focuses on the built environment, (i.e., buildings, open spaces, transportation infrastructures, and their network, up to the scale of cities), both indoors at the building scale and outdoors at an urban scale.
Tools and methods to design a sustainable built environment in view of disasters serve to increase the resilience of spaces and communities and may help to quickly manage emergencies, thus making the built environment sustainable. But such tools must be sustainable themselves, that is:
1) they must be based on assessment methods which consider all relevant interactions between humans, the built environment, and disaster-related effects, which can lead to significant differences between expected (and designed) and real performances;
2) they must provide a holistic, multi-risk and multi-scale perspective (“macro to micro to macro” approach in solutions implementation, that involve issues related to single building scale and urban scale);
3) they must help to promote good practices and “correct” behaviours from the perspective of users and stakeholders, before and during the emergency;
4) they must jointly assess the impact of physical interventions on the built environment and its management, also in emergency conditions (thus including the roles of all stakeholders and users, including rescuers).
In the past decade, much progress has been made in investigating and modelling disaster conditions in built environments. User-centred and “intelligent” tools have been designed, following an interdisciplinary approach. Yet, models and tools still fall short of the sustainability goals formulated above, which limit their use to define operative guidelines, practices, and solutions that will make the built environment more resilient.
This Special Issue invites contributions that help to bridge this gap, by harnessing state-of-art methods, recent advances in research, and by conducting case studies.
Contributions could address one of the following themes:
- Modelling of pedestrian behaviours in emergency conditions, e.g., through experimental studies, operationalization of observed human behaviour, and model development and implementation. Models could refer to both the indoor and outdoor built environment. Ideally, they would use a joint representation of human behaviours and emergency conditions, e.g. for earthquakes, debris formation, flood, and floodwater spreading. They could also showcase the effects of risk-mitigation and risk-reduction strategies, e.g., emergency support to the occupants by the rescuers and wayfinding systems in the evacuation. This subject includes systematic studies on the effect of uncertain model parameters on vital quantities of interest, such as the evacuation time.
- Application of models to the indoor environment to evaluate the safety of people, and to evaluate the impact of different sustainable risk-reduction solutions. This topic could involve both specific case studies and idealized application to show the capability of simulation-based methods to define general guidelines and practices for sustainable intervention and management of the building. Relevant scenarios could deal with (but are not limited to): public buildings, office buildings, hospitals; indoor spaces for transportation, e.g., mobility hubs and stations; historical sites that are reused in a sustainable, safe way that respects heritage.
- Application of models to the outdoor environment to evaluate the safety of people, and to evaluate the impact of different sustainable risk-reduction solutions. This topic could involve both specific case studies and idealized application to show the capability of simulation-based methods for risk mitigation. Contributions could treat general risk assessment and reduction methods, as well as guidelines and practices for decision-makers in the built environment on an urban scale. Relevant scenarios could be: private and public outdoor spaces, i.e., within the urban fabric; specific elements in urban spaces, such as tunnels, bridges; specific urban events, such as parades and demonstrations; historical sites that are reused in a sustainable, safe way that respects heritage; the relationship between indoor and outdoor spaces in emergency conditions.
- Application of models for training purposes, e.g., from the rescuers' point of view, and to increase risk awareness among citizens. This topic could involve training applications to implement guidelines and good practices, which showcase the potential of simulation-based training tools. Case studies are also encouraged, involving, e.g., virtual reality or augmented reality technologies.
Development of sustainable safety-increasing tools based on validated simulation models of human behaviours and motion in indoor and outdoor spaces. Tools could concern system interactions with people in emergency conditions. Applications could include tracking of evacuees and rescuers, guidance and wayfinding for evacuees and rescuers. Other topics of interest are: evacuation systems and their management; augmented reality-based technologies.
Dr. Gabriele Bernardini
Prof. Dr. Gerta Köster
Manuscript Submission Information
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- Built environment
- evacuation modelling
- sustainable solutions
- training tools
- emergency management
- sensitivity studies