Virtual reality for urban risk perception enhancing
Risk, in its technical (and classic) definition is the product of three factors: hazard, exposure and vulnerability. Curiously, only in 2015 the UNDRR clearly defined that the aforementioned entities are represented also by communities and individuals, enlarging vulnerability to a set of intrinsic characteristics with a human feature. In the correct and effective estimation of the the human entrenchment lies the challenge of the vulnerability assessment and the achievement of a sustainable resilience strengthening.
From a neurocognition perspective, risk is considered a feeling. This means that risk perception involves measurable and specific emotional responses as any other feeling at brain level. At the same time, behavioral sciences refer to the following concepts to evaluate and classify risk: Neglected risk condition is obviously the worst case for decision making and it usually derives from an overestimation of the required actions due to dreadful consequences preoccupation. The emotional response plays a negative role in the form of a blinding mechanism. On the opposite, contemplated risk leads to an underestimation of the necessary measures under the illusion of attainable control. To move from this to the experienced risk box the production of an experience is mandatory, and this can only come from the fixation of an emotional reaction.
In this workshop we propose to explore and design the use of Virtual Reality to simulate real time and post-disaster scenarios of urban environments stricken by earthquakes. We will also share some worldwide (Indonesia, Italy and South America) results of some successful application of such methodology by our Lab.
Organizer: MIT Senseable City Lab