Mini symposia/Special sessions

MS31 Enhancing Urban Resilience under Natural Hazards: Risk-informed Planning and Decision-Making

Prof. Bruce R. Ellingwood:

Session Chairs:
Professor Bruce R. Ellingwood, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523 USA,
Professor John W. van de Lindt, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523 USA,
Dr. Therese P. McAllister,Leader and Program Manager, Community Resilience Group, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD 20899 USA,

Abstract of the special session:
The impact of severe natural hazards, including earthquakes and tsunamis, tornadoes, tropical cyclones and storm surge, riverine flooding on urban areas, and wildland-urban interface fires, is likely to increase in the future due to population migration patterns, economic development and climate change. While the traditional focus of regulation of the built environment has been on the performance of individual facilities, the aftermath of natural disasters has shown clearly that urban resilience depends on the performance of large-scale, interdependent physical infrastructure systems and networks, including building inventories, transportation and lifeline systems, and socioeconomic networks that, individually and collectively, sustain or absorb damage and support the rapid recovery of urban communities following a hazard event. Modeling and quantifying the performance of such systems at urban scales is a significant challenge in terms of both research and public policy-making, especially in the light of significant uncertainties in natural hazard intensities and their impact on the built environment. Many disciplines, including engineering, economics and sociology, and information sciences, must collaborate to develop risk-informed decision frameworks and policies to enhance the resilience of urban areas exposed to natural hazards to prevent disasters. Enhancement of urban resilience is a high-priority goal in most advanced societies worldwide. In recent years, several large interdisciplinary research centers dealing with urban resilience have been established in North America, Europe and Asia, and efforts to establish resilience plans at a national level are underway at US Federal laboratories, European Union research centers, and in China.
This proposed Mini-Symposium on Enhancing Urban Resilience will consist of three organized technical sessions, programmed in a specific sequence, and will provide an ideal venue for invited international resilience researchers to share the latest advances in:
Session (1): Modeling natural hazards on an urban scale;  
Session (2): Advanced risk-informed urban planning for resilience; and
Session (3): Managing the urban recovery process through risk-informed decision-making. 
We will seek a series of presentations from a diverse group of international experts from many disciplines, including engineering, social and economic sciences, and information technology, who will identify risk-informed methods for quantifying the impact of natural hazards on the built environment; performance goals and metrics (in engineering, social and economic terms) to assist urban communities in risk-informed resilience planning; and decision making processes aimed at optimizing resilience enhancement strategies at different urban scales. Papers selected for presentation will address both fundamental research and practical implementation issues that may arise when considering performance of civil infrastructure, social and economic systems which must interact successfully to maintain a healthy society. We expect this mini-symposium to provide a vehicle for encouraging international discussions and potential collaborations among attendees and to promote the application of resilience science toward this imperative international problem.

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