The Millennium Declaration and the Hyogo Framework for Action point towards the need for methods to identify urban
vulnerability to disaster risk as a pre-cursor for the development of benchmarks with which to track policy progress for
urban sustainability and risk reduction. This paper responds to this call by assessing the state of the art in urban vulnerability
and risk assessment tools. It presents a review of the conceptual frameworks, methodologies and comparative
advantages of ten tools. These are categorised into deductive and inductive approaches, with inductive approaches
in turn separated into those that use social-survey and participatory methods. The tools examined vary in the focus
of their interests between those concerned with the vulnerability of places (cities or buildings) and people (either as predefined
vulnerable social groups or identified through household livelihood sustainability).
The paper calls for a deeper conversation between the emerging community of practitioners working on urban disaster
risk management and the existing urban development community. For example, disasters are typically defined as
exceptionally large, single events, which adds to analytical clarity, but misses the cumulative impact of multiple small,
local events on household sustainability and urban infrastructure, ultimately distorting planning guidance. There is also
a need for natural hazard specific vulnerability assessment tools to be interpreted alongside, or to incorporate social,
economic and political sources of danger to livelihoods and human health. For forward looking policy relevance, tools
are also needed that can assess adaptive or coping capacity. This is essential for the building of a holistic approach to
urban risk management. An approach that coherently tackles the multiple hazards and vulnerabilities faced by urban
dwellers, and seeks to avoid the shifting of risk burdens between populations and the movement of people from one
kind of threat to another.
Keywords : Measuring Vulnerability, Urban Vulnerability, Urban Risk, Natural Disasters Indexing
An Abstract to read the whole article login.......