International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment - Table of contents from the most recently published issue

Friday 30 August 2013

Volume 4 issue 3 - Latest Issue entitled: Improving Resilience of Existing Infrastructure and Built Assets Against Extreme Weather.

The world in recent years has seen a number of Extreme Weather Events (EWEs) causing large losses of life as well as significant economic losses. As a result, cumulative economic and social costs of extreme weather related events have been increasing significantly.

The World Bank estimated that, in 1998, various natural disasters killed over 50,000 people and destroyed $65 billion worth of property and infrastructure.

Disasters that occur due to weather extremes affect the existing infrastructure and other built assets creating significant losses to the Government, individual households and the business sector in general. It is estimated that the global annual cost of weather damage on average is to be in the range of $200–330 billion. The Pitt Review of 2007 discloses that there were about 200 major floods worldwide during 2007 alone, affecting 180 million people, causing 8,000 deaths and over £40 billion worth of damage and disruption.
 
Several studies have been initiated to assess the impact of climate change and extreme weather events on the whole of the society. To name a few: The IPCC, UKCIP weather scenarios, Pitt review and the Stern review. In addition to these major reports, there have also been several other reports initiated in the UK by the Association of British Insurers (ABI), The Environment agency, The RICS, DEFRA and CIRIA.

These reports identify the impacts of various EWEs and measures to overcome the growing problem. The Stern Review (2007) for instance predicts that the average global temperatures could rise by 2-30 within the next fifty years leading to many severe impacts such as melting glaciers, rising sea levels, decline of eco-systems etc.

In addition to the gradual change of climatic conditions, climate change is expected to increase the intensity and frequency of EWEs. IPCC, in their special report presented at their 34th session held in November 2011 stated that the frequency of hot days are likely to increase “by a factor of 10 in most regions of the world” and that heavy precipitation will occur more often.

Given this context, it has become a necessity to enhance the resilience of infrastructure and other built assets, especially which are vulnerable to the climate change and EWEs, in order to counteract the threat of such events and to ensure their continuous operation. More sustainable initiatives need to evolve to overcome the disruption and to enhance adaptation and coping capacities of individual households and the business sector.

In line with this theme, this issue includes the following papers:

  1. Improving resilience of existing infrastructure and built assets against extreme weather
  2. Heat wave adaptations for UK dwellings and introducing a retrofit toolkit
  3. Assessing vulnerability, resilience and adaptive capacity of a UK Social Landlord
  4. The awareness of two stakeholders and the resilience of their built assets to extreme weather events in England
  5. Participatory Project Management for Improved Disaster Resilience
  6. Development of conceptual framework for understanding vulnerability of commercial property values towards flooding
  7. Achieving success in post-disaster resettlement programmes through better coordination between spatial and socio-economic/cultural factors

 Access the full papers.