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Special Issue "Disaster-risk Reduction and Impact Assessment for Resilience and Sustainability"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 April 2019

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Nicolas Sifakis

National Observatory of Athens / European Rsearch Council
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Use of satellite data for: air-pollution monitoring and associated health indicators; Nature protection and conservation of biodiversity; assistance in crisis management of natural disasters.
Co-Guest Editor
Ms. Christine Haffner-Sifakis

United Nations Environment Program
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +3222173041
Interests: ecosystem management; disaster prevention; circular economy and SCP; sustainable development goals; sustainable finance; marine and coastal protection

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Managing natural disasters and building resilience are, unquestionably, two pillars to attain sustainability on a climatically-changing Earth. Thus, the adoption of the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change focus on enhancing adaptive capacity, increasing resilience, and limiting vulnerability, while the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development underlines the urgent need to reduce the risk of disasters.

The current Special Issue of Sustainability is seeking papers that can demonstrate how the notions of emergency management, including risk reduction, preparedness and of impact assessment, can be translated into cost-effective policies and practices, favorable of resilience, adaptation and sustainability within the critical zone, particularly in and around our vulnerable growing cities.

Original research articles and literature review papers addressing disaster-risk reduction (including prevention and mitigation) and impact assessment for resilience and sustainability (including recovery actions) will be considered for publication in this issue. In line with this journal’s policy of having no restriction on the overall length of the paper, Section Editors will expect academic communications to be concise, clear and readable. Authors are advised to make full use of ‘Supplementary Materials’ in their submissions.

Dr. Nicolas Sifakis
Ms. Christine Haffner-Sifakis
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 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 1700 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

  • climate change
  • sustainability
  • resilience
  • sustainable cities
  • sustainable development
  • risk reduction
  • emergency management
  • impact assessment
  • adaptation policy
  • UN 2030 Agenda
  • Paris Agreement

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Quantitative Multi-Hazard Risk Assessment of Crop Loss in the Yangtze River Delta Region of China
Sustainability 2019, 11(3), 922; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11030922
Received: 21 January 2019 / Revised: 30 January 2019 / Accepted: 10 February 2019 / Published: 12 February 2019
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Abstract
Due to their complexity, hazard interactions are often neglected in current studies of multi-hazard risk assessment. As a result, the assessment results are qualitative or semi-quantitative and are difficult to use in regional risk management. In this paper, the crop loss risk due [...] Read more.
Due to their complexity, hazard interactions are often neglected in current studies of multi-hazard risk assessment. As a result, the assessment results are qualitative or semi-quantitative and are difficult to use in regional risk management. In this paper, the crop loss risk due to heavy rain and strong wind in the Yangtze River Delta (YRD) region of China was quantitatively assessed, based on the joint return periods of these hazards and a vulnerability surface. The joint return period is obtained with a copula function based on the marginal distribution of each hazard. The vulnerability is fitted by considering the joint hazard intensity, the sown area of crops, elevation, and GDP per capita. The results show that counties with a high value of joint hazard probability are clustered in the southeast coastal area and that the value gradually decreases from south to north and from east to west. The multi-hazard risk has a similar pattern, with a large value in the southeast coastal area and a low value in the northwest. The proposed method can be used for quantitative assessment of multi-hazard risk, and the results can be used for regional disaster risk management and planning. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Comparative Analysis of Coordination, Participation, and Training in Post-Disaster Shelter Projects
Sustainability 2018, 10(11), 4241; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10114241
Received: 30 October 2018 / Revised: 13 November 2018 / Accepted: 13 November 2018 / Published: 16 November 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2643 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The delivery of post-disaster shelter assistance continues to be fraught with challenges derived from the coordination of resources, involvement of project stakeholders, and training of households and builders. There is a need to better understand what project elements in the delivery of post-disaster [...] Read more.
The delivery of post-disaster shelter assistance continues to be fraught with challenges derived from the coordination of resources, involvement of project stakeholders, and training of households and builders. There is a need to better understand what project elements in the delivery of post-disaster shelter projects most influence resilience and sustainability. To address this need, we examined nineteen post-disaster shelter projects in the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan. We first characterized coordination, participation, and training employed across the planning, design, and construction phases of shelter projects and then used fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) to assess the influence of these elements, alone and in combination, on building resilient and sustainable community infrastructure systems. Findings show that early involvement of households in planning efforts, combined with subsequent training, was important in evolving recovery outcomes. Our results point to the importance of: (1) supporting household sheltering processes over delivering hard products; (2) strategically linking project processes across phases; and (3) aligning humanitarian actions with long-term development. Conclusions from this study contribute to theory of sheltering in developing communities and more broadly to theory of recovery processes that link to community resilience and sustainability. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Identifying Risk Indicators of Building Damage Due to Typhoons: Focusing on Cases of South Korea
Sustainability 2018, 10(11), 3947; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10113947
Received: 23 September 2018 / Revised: 18 October 2018 / Accepted: 25 October 2018 / Published: 30 October 2018
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Abstract
This study identifies the risk indicators of building damage from typhoons and determines the correlations among this damage, typhoon information, geographic vulnerability, construction environment, and socioeconomic vulnerability. This fundamental research aids the development of a typhoon loss prediction model for building construction projects [...] Read more.
This study identifies the risk indicators of building damage from typhoons and determines the correlations among this damage, typhoon information, geographic vulnerability, construction environment, and socioeconomic vulnerability. This fundamental research aids the development of a typhoon loss prediction model for building construction projects in South Korea. Extreme weather events have become increasingly prevalent around the world, with subsequent increases in related damages. Early attempts to meet the growing demands for a loss prediction model have been insufficiently comprehensive, and specifically in South Korea, research on risk indicators is needed that considers the geographic, building, and socioeconomic features. This research used the regional typhoon loss records from the annual report of the Ministry of Public Safety and Security (MPSS) to define the dependent variable of building damage. The results and findings of this study will inform the development of a typhoon loss prediction model in South Korea. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Assessment of Critical Infrastructure Resilience to Flooding Using a Response Curve Approach
Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3470; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103470
Received: 15 August 2018 / Revised: 21 September 2018 / Accepted: 26 September 2018 / Published: 28 September 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2880 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Following a flood the functioning of critical infrastructure (CI), such as power and transportation networks, plays an important role in recovery and the resilience of the city. Previous research investigated resilience indicators, however, there is no method in the literature to quantify the [...] Read more.
Following a flood the functioning of critical infrastructure (CI), such as power and transportation networks, plays an important role in recovery and the resilience of the city. Previous research investigated resilience indicators, however, there is no method in the literature to quantify the resilience of CI to flooding specifically or to quantify the effect of measures. This new method to quantify CI resilience to flooding proposes an expected annual disruption (EADIS) metric and curve of disruption versus likelihood. The units used for the EADIS metric for disruption are in terms of people affected over time (person × days). Using flood modelling outputs, spatial infrastructure, and population data as inputs, this metric is used to benchmark CI resilience to flooding and test the improvement with resilience enhancing measures. These measures are focused on the resilience aspects robustness, redundancy and flexibility. Relative improvements in resilience were quantified for a case study area in Toronto, Canada and it was found that redundancy, flexibility, and robustness measures resulted in 44, 30, and 48% reductions in EADIS respectively. While there are limitations, results suggest that this method can effectively quantify CI resilience to flooding and quantify relative improvements with resilience enhancing measures for cities. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview The Disaster Risk, Global Change, and Sustainability Nexus
Sustainability 2019, 11(4), 957; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11040957
Received: 13 November 2018 / Revised: 26 January 2019 / Accepted: 11 February 2019 / Published: 13 February 2019
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Abstract
Until the 1970s, disaster risk was perceived as a direct consequence of natural hazards. Gradually, disaster risk has come to be understood as a compound event, which lies at the intersection of hazards, exposure, and vulnerability of the exposed elements. After decades of [...] Read more.
Until the 1970s, disaster risk was perceived as a direct consequence of natural hazards. Gradually, disaster risk has come to be understood as a compound event, which lies at the intersection of hazards, exposure, and vulnerability of the exposed elements. After decades of research and lessons learned from mega-disasters, social scientists have introduced the social dimension of disaster risk, and the prevailing understanding is that disasters are also a human construct. Now, due to climate and global environmental changes, even the natural component of hazards is being altered by anthropogenic activities, changing hazard susceptibility, coverage, frequency, and severity. This review retraces the brief history and evolution of the global understanding of disaster risk as a compound event, in parallel with research on global environmental change. It highlights the main milestones in this area, and shows that there are tight connections between trends of disaster risk and global change. This paper aims to demonstrate the need to better consider the role of global environmental change in disaster risk assessment. In 2015, three major new agreements were reached to improve global environmental governance: the new Sendai Framework (2015–2030), the post-2015 development agenda with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the Climate COP21 in Paris. These all include a clear focus on disaster risk reduction; however, several aspects of disaster risk linked with global environmental changes are still not clearly addressed by the main stakeholders (governments, insurers, or agencies). As the complexity of risk unfolds, more actors are getting together; the need for a holistic approach for disaster risk reduction has become clear, and is closely connected with achieving sustainable development. Full article
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