2018 Vol. 9, No. 4

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Participatory Risk Governance for Reducing Disaster and Societal Risks: Collaborative Knowledge Production and Implementation
Norio Okada, Ilan Chabay, Ortwin Renn
2018, 6(4): 429-433. doi: 10.1007/s13753-018-0201-x
The background, purpose, and design of this special section are briefly explained in this introductory article. Three aspects emerged from the articles in this special section and are highlighted to provide a frame of reference for the reader: (1) a paradigm shift towards adaptive and integrative disaster risk governance; (2) a framework that situates adaptive and integrative risk governance in the context of transformation toward sustainability; and (3) the introduction of “implementation science” as a concept, method, and emerging field that brings natural and social sciences, engineering, and humanities jointly to bear in risk mitigation and adaptation.
Risk Governance: Application to Urban Challenges
Ortwin Renn, Andreas Klinke, Pia-Johanna Schweizer
2018, 6(4): 434-444. doi: 10.1007/s13753-018-0196-3
Urban areas face multiple risks: they range from natural hazard-induced disasters, fires, and building code violations to social risks such as vandalism, crime, and social disorientation, among others. These risks often interact with each other and cannot be dealt with in isolation. As a means to identify, assess, and manage multiple risks, the concept of “risk governance” has been developed, which promises to provide integrative and comprehensive tools to deal with the many manifestations of risks. In this article, risk governance concept has been specifically applied to complex risk situations in urban areas. The concept of risk governance pertains to the many ways in which multiple actors, individuals and institutions, public and private, deal with risks. It includes formal institutions and regimes and informal arrangements. The article first develops an adaptive and integrative model of risk governance and applies this model to the urban environments. After a short summary of the roots of risk governance, key concepts, such as simple, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous risks, are discussed. The main emphasis is on each of the five phases of risk governance: pre-estimation, interdisciplinary assessment, risk evaluation, risk management, and risk communication.
Distributional Considerations for Transboundary Risk Governance of Environmental Threats
Adam Rose
2018, 6(4): 445-453. doi: 10.1007/s13753-018-0205-6
Most policy analyses of both short-term and long-term disasters focus on aggregate impacts of their costs and the benefits of policy remedies. Distributional considerations relating to the costs of these disasters and the benefits of their risk management, however, are very important in many cases. This article examines two broad categories of cases in terms of distributional considerations. The first category is where transboundary considerations strongly affect risk governance, as in the case of climate change. The second relates to ordinary, short-term disasters, which include fewer, but still important, transboundary issues. Climate change policy requires information regarding the distribution of impacts and policy responses across countries because it is a global problem. Conventional disasters involve transboundary considerations much less frequently, so the attention typically shifts to the distribution of benefits and costs within a jurisdiction. In both cases distributional information is needed to evaluate the equity of policies and to provide information for public participation in the policy process. This article offers modeling and policy approaches to address these issues.
Adaptive Process for SMART Community Governance under Persistent Disruptive Risks
Norio Okada
2018, 6(4): 454-463. doi: 10.1007/s13753-018-0204-7
This article addresses the increasing need for participatory approaches to disaster reduction at the community level. Based on the author’s 30-year engagement in the mountainous community Chizu Town, Tottori Prefecture, Japan, a unique participatory approach called “Zero-to-One Movement” has been strategically studied. The study areas are found to have adaptively increased their coping capacity. Their unique participatory process is shown to be an adaptive process for SMART community governance under persistent disruptive risks—“S” represents small-sized and survivability-minded, “M” modest-scale and multiple-stakeholder involved, “A” anticipatory and adaptive, “R” risk-concerned and responsive, and “T” is transformative. Finally, the Case Station-Field Campus scheme is proposed to serve as a platform for studying the adaptive processes over a long period of time.
Taking Time, Sharing Spaces: Adaptive Risk Governance Processes in Rural Japan
Ilan Chabay
2018, 6(4): 464-471. doi: 10.1007/s13753-018-0191-8
Rural and peri-urban communities in Japan, as well as in many other regions of the world, face risks of discrete event natural phenomena, including earthquakes, floods, and landslides. They also face persistent disruptive stress due to risks that remain active over long durations, such as the loss of community capacities due to an aging population. This article describes my observations of and subsequent reflections on adaptive risk governance and community resilience building processes in two areas of western and southern Japan—Chizu in Tottori Prefecture and towns near Kumamoto City in Kumamoto Prefecture. Four aspects of adaptive risk governance from this limited set of observations stood out: (1) the importance of establishing a durable, patient process, (2) initiated and facilitated by a trusted figure, in (3) a space or venue accessible and open to the community, and (4) augmented by boundary objects that facilitate role playing, iteration, and ownership by the community of solutions generated in these dialogues.
The Difficult Path from Perception to Precautionary Action—Participatory Modeling as a Practical Tool to Overcome the Risk Perception Paradox in Flood Preparedness
Gisela Wachinger, Patrick Keilholz, Coral O'Brian
2018, 6(4): 472-485. doi: 10.1007/s13753-018-0203-8
The risk perception paradox illustrates the perception of natural hazards as not directly related to a willingness to act or engage in precautionary behavior. Yet the utilization of participatory processes can help to overcome this gap. In a practical example in the watershed of the Danube River and its contributing streams in Germany, we aimed to solve questions about the value of participatory modeling as a method to bridge the gap linked to flood polder planning and a relocation of a dike for protection against high floods (centennial floods and rarer). Local communities, citizen initiatives, and nongovernmental environmental organizations joined together for round table discussions initiated by the water management authorities. A participatory modeling process enabled these diverse stakeholders to engage with the experts who built the groundwater models for the planning process. As part of this study, two case studies are presented. In the first example, neutral mediators assisted the round table “Flood Polder Katzau (Danube)” in order to cultivate mutual trust and understanding between the authorities and the former opponents of the project. This process is still ongoing, challenged by long-term planning and the more immediate obstacle of current political changes. The second case study is located on the river Alz, a tributary of the river Inn, which flows into the Danube, where the relocation of a dike was planned. This article demonstrates how participatory modeling contributes to bridging the gap between a local resident’s risk perception and real action in the case of flood preparedness.
Advancing the Disaster and Development Paradigm
Andrew E. Collins
2018, 6(4): 486-495. doi: 10.1007/s13753-018-0206-5
Consolidation of disaster and development studies as an integrated field of action research that influences policy has proved to be fundamental to global disaster risk reduction, sustainable development, climate change, and humanitarian agreements. However, challenges in achieving targets, such as those of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals, requires further advances of the disaster and development paradigm underpinning these aspirations. This article presents perspectives that grew primarily from local action research, particularly research carried out with marginalized and highly at-risk groups of people in Southern Africa and South Asia. Analytical fronts from these findings emphasize disaster and development risk assessment opportunities that consolidate earlier ideas and extend understanding of disaster and development-related risk intervention options. These acknowledge severe shortcomings in disaster risk reduction progress while including greater use of hope as an active ingredient. This process of paradigm exploration remains fundamental to achieving disaster risk reduction, sustainable development, and associated policy objectives. The analysis presented here reiterates earlier groundings in people-centric perspectives, emphasizing social relations and systems of meaning as essential active ingredients for challenging power structures, technology, education, and human behavior. The analysis proposes some consequent thematic fronts for increased investment. These include investing in early buildup of well-being before a disaster, better living with uncertainty, and overcoming the barriers to desired disaster and development outcomes. The article is intended to contribute to an ever-evolving paradigm of disaster and development risk that requires impetus from personal and collective values beyond calculations of disaster and development.
Estimating the Lost Economic Production Caused by Internal Displacement Because of Disasters
Mario A. Salgado-Gálvez
2018, 6(4): 496-506. doi: 10.1007/s13753-018-0190-9
Disasters are a large cause of internal displacement at the global level, in 2017 alone affecting more than 19 million people. This dimension of disaster risk is usually overlooked in many disaster risk management strategies and assessments. It is only very recently that efforts to quantify displacement risk and integrate that dimension into existing physical risk models have been made. A key component of internal displacement assessment is the quantification of its economic impacts, both direct and indirect, not only to make a figure available but to raise awareness and increase accountability among governments, stakeholders, policymakers, and decision makers. This article presents a novel and peril-agnostic methodology with which to estimate, using a scenario-based approach, the economic production lost because of internal population displacement. The methodology is applied by using as a triggering event the April 2015 Gorkha, Nepal M7.8 earthquake. The method quantifies the indirect cost caused by internal population displacement because of that event in terms of lost economic production and estimates the loss to be between USD 400 and 850 million.
A New Guiding Framework for Engaging Diverse Populations in Disaster Risk Reduction: Reach, Relevance, Receptiveness, and Relationships
Jay Marlowe, Andreas Neef, Chelsea R. Tevaga, Cedric Tevaga
2018, 6(4): 507-518. doi: 10.1007/s13753-018-0193-6
In urban environments characterized by rich diversity across language, migration status, demographic profiles, and usage of different forms of media, there can be significant challenges to ensuring that particular disaster risk reduction (DRR) communications reach those potentially affected. This article presents a study with 20 Pacific Island community leaders and connectors about their communities’ perspectives and anticipated responses to natural hazards in Auckland, New Zealand. Home to the largest population of Pacific people in the world, Auckland provides the basis for understanding the complexities of delivering disaster information across numerous community groups. The rich cultural and linguistic backgrounds of multiple Pacific communities living in this city highlight the need to consider the complexities of disaster messaging related to natural hazards. In particular, the article forwards the importance of incorporating the guiding concepts of reach, relevance, receptiveness, and relationships into a DRR approach with culturally and linguistically diverse groups. These concepts are presented as an embedded guiding framework that can helpfully inform disaster communication.
Participatory Disaster Recovery Simulation Modeling for Community Resilience Planning
Scott B. Miles
2018, 6(4): 519-529. doi: 10.1007/s13753-018-0202-9
A major challenge in enhancing the resilience of communities stems from current approaches used to identify needs and strategies that build the capacity of jurisdictions to mitigate loss and improve recovery. A new generation of resilience-based planning processes has emerged in the last several years that integrate goals of community well-being and identity into recovery-based performance measurement frameworks. Specific tools and refined guidance are needed to facilitate evidence-based development of recovery estimates. This article presents the participatory modeling process, a planning system designed to develop recovery-based resilience measurement frameworks for community resilience planning initiatives. Stakeholder engagement is infused throughout the participatory modeling process by integrating disaster recovery simulation modeling into community resilience planning. Within the process, participants get a unique opportunity to work together to deliberate on community concerns through facilitated participatory modeling. The participatory modeling platform combines the DESaster recovery simulation model and visual analytics interfaces. DESaster is an open source Python Library for creating discrete event simulations of disaster recovery. The simulation model was developed using a human-centered design approach whose goal is to be open, modular, and extensible. The process presented in this article is the first participatory modeling approach for analyzing recovery to aid creation of community resilience measurement frameworks.
Assessing and Improving Flood and Landslide Community Social Awareness and Engagement via a Web Platform: The Case of Italy
Daniele F. Bignami, Alessio Dragoni, Giovanni Menduni
2018, 6(4): 530-540. doi: 10.1007/s13753-018-0199-0
Italy is significantly affected by ever-present flood and landslide risks and has experienced many disasters. Local social awareness and engagement, however, differ and need to be increased by decision makers and citizens through improvements in risk preparedness. With this aim, the #italiasicura web platform was developed by Fondazione Politecnico di Milano and released in 2015 to show country to local level hazard maps and risk reduction projects in Italy. Any stage of the user experience with the platform can be shared via social media. Using this tool, an awareness-oriented web analytics process was structured to develop a set of indicators for the increase of knowledge linked to flood and landslide hazards. In so doing, it is possible to measure community disaster awareness actions and competence in the area of hazard knowledge. This article presents the results obtained by using data from the platform.
Spatiotemporal Changes of Hazard Intensity-Adjusted Population Exposure to Multiple Hazards in Tibet During 1982-2015
Anyu Zhang, Jingai Wang, Yao Jiang, Yanqiang Chen, Peijun Shi
2018, 6(4): 541-554. doi: 10.1007/s13753-018-0194-5
The dynamic changes of population exposure to hazards in high-altitude areas are an important factor in the scientific evaluation of environmental risks. In this study, the hazards of hypoxia, earthquakes, and snowstorms in Tibet were respectively described by the percentage of oxygen at sea level, earthquake intensity, and mean annual maximum snow depth. The rates of population affected by hypoxia, earthquakes, and snowstorms were calculated by chronic mountain sickness and historical disaster data. Based on these, the study examined the change in population exposure to the three hazards and their combinations by hazard intensity level at the 1 km×1 km grid scale in 1982–2015. The results show that population exposures to hypoxia, earthquakes, and snowstorms were about 745 thousand, 97 thousand, and 168 thousand in 2015, respectively, among a total population in Tibet of 3.24 million. These exposures were mainly concentrated in the 3400–5000 m above sea level zone. The population exposed to hypoxia and earthquakes showed a rising trend from 1982 to 2015, while the population exposed to snowstorms decreased after 2000 due to reduced snowstorm intensity. Hypoxia-earthquake and hypoxia-snowstorm are the main multiple hazard combinations that people in Tibet suffered from and their person·time exposures were estimated at around 842 thousand and 913 thousand in 2015, respectively, with an average annual increase of 1.7% and 1.3%. Hypoxia is the most important health risk in Tibet. The areas of high person·time exposure to multiple hazards of hypoxia-earthquake-snowstorm are the key areas for strengthening integrated risk governance.
New Dimensions for a Challenging Security Environment: Growing Exposure to Critical Space Infrastructure Disruption Risk
Adrian V. Gheorghe, Alexandru Georgescu, Olga Bucovețchi, Marilena Lazăr, Cezar Scarlat
2018, 6(4): 555-560. doi: 10.1007/s13753-018-0197-2
Space systems have become a key enabler for a wide variety of applications that are vital to the functioning of advanced societies. The trend is one of quantitative and qualitative increase of this dependence, so much so that space systems have been described as a new example of critical infrastructure. This article argues that the existence of critical space infrastructures implies the emergence of a new category of disasters related to disruption risks. We inventory those risks and make policy recommendations for what is, ultimately, a resilience governance issue.
Integrating Systemic Risk and Risk Analysis Using Copulas
Stefan Hochrainer-Stigler, Georg Pflug, Ulf Dieckmann, Elena Rovenskaya, Stefan Thurner, Sebastian Poledna, Gergely Boza, Joanne Linnerooth-Bayer, Åke Brännström
2018, 6(4): 561-567. doi: 10.1007/s13753-018-0198-1
Systemic risk research is gaining traction across diverse disciplinary research communities, but has as yet not been strongly linked to traditional, well-established risk analysis research. This is due in part to the fact that systemic risk research focuses on the connection of elements within a system, while risk analysis research focuses more on individual risk to single elements. We therefore investigate how current systemic risk research can be related to traditional risk analysis approaches from a conceptual as well as an empirical point of view. Based on Sklar’s Theorem, which provides a one-to-one relationship between multivariate distributions and copulas, we suggest a reframing of the concept of copulas based on a network perspective. This provides a promising way forward for integrating individual risk (in the form of probability distributions) and systemic risk (in the form of copulas describing the dependencies among such distributions) across research domains. Copulas can link continuous node states, characterizing individual risks, with a gradual dependency of the coupling strength between nodes on their states, characterizing systemic risk. When copulas are used for describing such refined coupling between nodes, they can provide a more accurate quantification of a system’s network structure. This enables more realistic systemic risk assessments, and is especially useful when extreme events (that occur at low probabilities, but have high impacts) affect a system’s nodes. In this way, copulas can be informative in measuring and quantifying changes in systemic risk and therefore be helpful in its management. We discuss the advantages and limitations of copulas for integrative risk analyses from the perspectives of modeling, measurement, and management.