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DKG 2019: Urban-Rural Infrastructure Interdependencies

In collaboration with the Research Center for Integrated Disaster Risk Management (CIGIDEN) and Vivienda Foundation in Chile Dr Diana Contreras presented: "Socio-economic Vulnerability to Natural Hazards: Interdependencies of Healthcare Infrastructure. The case of Santiago Metropolitan Region, Chile" at the session entitled: Urban-Rural Infrastructure Interdependencies - Flows of people, services and disaster risks organized by United Nations University - Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS) & TH Köln at the Deutsch Kongress für Geographie (DKG) 2019 in Kiel, Germany.



Cities are systems composed of infrastructure and population, which are stressed by disasters. Their interdependency determines the degree of vulnerability and resilience.



Cities are systems composed of infrastructure and densely built spaces inhabited by population. The provision of sustainable urban infrastructure is a challenge for urban planners, decision-makers and engineers due to the rise in urban population. Moreover, the performance of the systems that compose the city is stressed by the occurrence of natural hazards. Infrastructure is composed of spatially distributed and interdependent networks connected by multiple physical links. These networks are at risk of interruptions in case of a natural hazard, which subsequently impacts the economy and social conditions of the affected area. Currently, there are several methods for the estimation of social vulnerability, but they do not integrate interdependencies with the critical infrastructure. The infrastructure of a city is not only compounded by physical structures, but also by the population that they serve and the interactions between them. The nature of this interaction can increase or decrease the vulnerability of the system. Nevertheless, current social vulnerability indexes do not include the dependence of population from the critical infrastructure. The aim of our research is to identify the spatial variables, indicators and indexes to characterize the social vulnerability to natural hazards and critical infrastructure dependence in urban environments. We use variables and indicators such as population density, living space per person, spatial autocorrelation, spatial association, spatial clustering, coverage, distance, the degree of resilience represented by redundancy (alternative sources of services), preparedness (training) and resilience of population. Based on these spatial variables and indicators, we will develop a spatial model that integrates socio-economic vulnerability and dependency. These spatial variables and indicators will allow us to develop a spatial index of interdependency to identify bottom-up resilience actions oriented to reduce the socio-economic vulnerability generated by this interdependency.

Acknowledgement: Dr Paula Aguirre, Dr  Maria Molinos and Dr Alondra Chamorro from CIGIDEN (CONICYT/FONDAP/15110017).

Last modified: Thu, 10 Oct 2019 10:25:14 BST