Dynamic cities, dynamic risk – Representing urban change in disaster risk models
|The world’s urban population continues to grow rapidly in many parts of the world, with urban areas expanding or densifying to accommodate this growth. As a result, new structures are built on previously undeveloped land, density of development is intensified and multiple infrastructure systems need to be expanded or improved to provide more capacity. These changes fundamentally change the exposure and vulnerability of people, their built environment and livelihoods, to disaster risk. They change the magnitude, the distribution and the concentration of disaster risk.|
We generally estimate risk using a snapshot of the conditions at one time point – when it comes to exposure and vulnerability this represents the built environment and population at the present time, or at a moment in the recent past (e.g. at the most recent census). A greater number of risk assessments now apply future socio-economic scenarios to estimate future risk, but this has largely been based on simple trending of asset values and population numbers based on shared socio-economic pathways (SSPs).
With the growth in urban development modelling, and new tools emerging that link these changes to risk quantification, it is now possible to better represent the impact of planned changes in the urban environment on disaster risk projections. Can we use these developments as a springboard to better account for urban dynamics in risk models more widely, and ultimately enable risk understanding to be updated dynamically, to keep pace with the changing built environment and account for potential changes in the coming decades?
We bring together experts in risk modelling, planning decision-support systems, machine learning and infrastructure systems to discuss how we can best account for the uncertain future built environment, in risk information. The audience, with inputs from our panellists including short model demonstrations, will discuss: the shortcomings of current risk models in representing urban dynamics; the challenges of including urban dynamics in risk models; what future model capabilities should provide; and how to provide meaningful decision support for urban development in the design of less-exposed and more-resilient cities and regions.
This session is being held in conjunction with a hands-on side event where users can experiment with the decision-support system UNHARMED, among others.
Organizer: GFDRR, University of Adelaide