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A global urban risk index

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  • Brecht, Henrike
  • Deichmann, Uwe
  • Wang, Hyoung Gun

Abstract

Which cities have the highest risk of human and economic losses due to natural hazards? And how will urban exposure to major hazards change over the coming decades? This paper develops a global urban disaster risk index that evaluates the mortality and economic risks from disasters in 1,943 cities in developing countries. Concentrations of population, infrastructure, and economic activities in cities contribute to increased exposure and susceptibility to natural hazards. The three components of this risk measure are urban hazard characteristics, exposure, and vulnerability. For earthquakes, cyclones, floods, and landslides, single hazard risk indices are developed. In addition, a multi-hazard index gives a holistic picture of current city risk. Demographic-economic projection of city population growth to 2050 suggests that exposure to earthquake and cyclone risk in developing country cities will more than double from today's levels. Global urban risk analysis, as presented in this paper, can inform the prioritization of resources for disaster risk management and urban planning and promote the shift toward managing risks rather than emergencies.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 6506.

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Date of creation: 01 Jun 2013
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6506

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Related research

Keywords: Population Policies; Hazard Risk Management; Food&Beverage Industry; Natural Disasters; Insurance&Risk Mitigation;

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  1. Eric Neumayer & Fabian Barthel, 2011. "Normalizing economic loss from natural disasters: a global analysis," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library 30785, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  2. Gilles Duranton & Diego Puga, 2000. "Nursery cities: urban diversity, process innovation and the life-cycle of products," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library 20204, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  3. Wen-Ko Hsu & Chun-Pin Tseng & Wei-Ling Chiang & Cheng-Wu Chen, 2012. "Risk and uncertainty analysis in the planning stages of a risk decision-making process," Natural Hazards, International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, vol. 61(3), pages 1355-1365, April.
  4. J.V. Henderson, 1972. "The Sizes and Types of Cities," Working Papers, Queen's University, Department of Economics 75, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  5. Susan Hanson & Robert Nicholls & N. Ranger & S. Hallegatte & J. Corfee-Morlot & C. Herweijer & J. Chateau, 2011. "A global ranking of port cities with high exposure to climate extremes," Climatic Change, Springer, Springer, vol. 104(1), pages 89-111, January.
  6. Henderson, J. Vernon & Wang, Hyoung Gun, 2007. "Urbanization and city growth: The role of institutions," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 283-313, May.
  7. Toya, Hideki & Skidmore, Mark, 2007. "Economic development and the impacts of natural disasters," Economics Letters, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 20-25, January.
  8. Indermit Gill & Homi Kharas, 2007. "An East Asian Renaissance : Ideas for Economic Growth," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6798, August.
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