This presentation will explore the question of how urban seismic risk is changing over time. Are our cities becoming safer, due to advances in earthquake engineering? Or is risk growing as a result of societal factors such as population expansion and urban development? In a case study of Metro Vancouver, a loss estimation model was developed to estimate potential losses for the same seismic event over seven decades of rapid population growth. Retrospective analysis in the first period (1971~2006) indicates whether the region has become safer, and why. Prospective analysis in the second period (2006~2041) examines how different urban growth patterns would affect seismic safety. The presentation concludes by considering the generalizability of the Vancouver results to other urban areas, as well as the importance of understanding urban risk dynamics for public policy and the insurance industry.
Stephanie E. Chang is a professor at the University of British Columbia, with the School of Community and Regional Planning (SCARP) and the Institute for Resources, Environment, and Sustainability (IRES). She recently held a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Disaster Management and Urban Sustainability (2004-2013). Her specialty is in the socio-economic impact of natural disasters, particularly earthquakes. She has published extensively on economic impacts of disasters, modeling disaster losses, urban risk dynamics, critical infrastructure systems and their interdependencies, economic evaluation of disaster mitigations, and urban disaster recovery. She has served on the U.S. National Research Council's Committee on Disaster Research in the Social Sciences and its Committee on Earthquake Resilience – Research, Implementation, and Outreach.
When: Friday, April 17, 2015 from 10 p.m. to 11:30 a.m. Where: 20 Richmond Street East, Suite 210, Toronto, Ontario M5C 2R9 and via Webex RSVP: Tracy Waddington (416) 364-8677 (firstname.lastname@example.org)