Ecology and Environment   > Home   > Urban Risks   > Issue

Vol 2 - Issue 1

Urban Risks

List of Articles

Are cities resilient?

This paper first argues that the driving force behind the aggregation of human settlement, throughout the centuries, has been the ever-increasing need for collective problem solving. Villages and cities have emerged in ‘dissipative flow structures’ in which organization (information processing capacity) spread out from cities into their hinterland, enabing energy and other resources to increasingly flow into cities to meet the needs of the population. Information processing is thus the driver of urbanization, and energy is the constraint. With the Industrial Revolution, the growth of such dissipative flow structures accelerated very rapidly due to the fact that fossil energy became available and lifted the constraint. Hence the urban explosion of the last couple of centuries. In the second part of the paper, some of the potential consequences of this explosion are discussed. First, whether the ever accelerating increase of global urbanization will continue or not, and then what might be the consequences of that acceleration for urban planning and architecture, emphasizing that cities need to become pro-active rather than re-active. They need to start designing for change rather than responding to it. In a final section we discuss some of the risks to urbanization that are posed by the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Revolution, and conclude with a suggestion how, in developed countries, information technology might reverse the trend to increasing concentration of the population in cities, whereas for the moment, this is not likely to be the case in developing countries.

From the reading of a crisis to that of territorial resilience: the 2017 El Niño in Peru, seen from the capital.

At the beginning of 2017, the Peruvian territory has witnessed several severe rains which were amplified by El Niño phenomenon, particularly affecting the coast of the country. Under these circumstances, multiple emergency declarations were issued putting the National System of Risk Management of Disasters, reformed in 2011, to the test of the huaycos, the indigenous Quechua word for flash floods landslide, which stroke the Andean country in January 2017. In light of a major event and the encountered difficulties, the Peruvian State adapts and centralizes the answer to the urgency. This article offers a first reading of the management of the national crisis through its effects in Lima and Callao’s metropolitan area as established centres for the emergency operations and the deployment of the humanitarian activities. Including interviews carried out with members of the central government, the fieldwork and the documentation available at the time of the urgency. The aim of this article is the exposition of the components of territorial resilience then concerned in a context of national crisis, questioning, inter alia, the mobilized resources and the context of their use.

Management of multiples risks in urban areas: An integrated multi‐risks analysis model for a general resilience

A territory is never facing one hazard but a set of interacting hazards. In a same space, floods, heatwaves/cold-waves or earthquakes usually coexist with industrial activities as energy plants, chemical factories or hazardous materials transportation. Thus, the risk management is still focused on single-hazard approaches at the expense of global, more systemic, ones which integrate the multiple hazards and the associated risks’ interactions on a same territory. This paper put forward an integrated model for multi-risks analysis to enhance a general resilience in urban territories.

Anticipating and simulating the change dynamics to diagnose and improve the resilience of an urban territorial system

This contribution deals with resilient cities and explicitly takes an overall perspective. The concept of
resilience is here used to examine both the event-type perturbations, which process in a relatively short time frame, and the anticipation of urban futures and territorial change dynamics, which process in a long term frame. We propose a practical exemplary of dominos effects spatialization diagnosis during flood and electric power failure in Marseille. Then, resilience of cities is linked with territorial development issues, anticipation of possible tensions and unsafe situations that may emerge due to land planning strategy, water shortages management or innovation diffusion.

Other issues :


Volume 17- 1

Issue 1


Volume 18- 2

Issue 1

Issue 2


Volume 19- 3

Issue 1