National Knowledge and Research Center for Emergency Readiness - Guadagno, Depietri, & Fra (2013). Urban disaster risk reduction and ecosystem services. The role of ecosystem services in disaster risk reduction

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Guadagno, Depietri, & Fra (2013). Urban disaster risk reduction and ecosystem services. The role of ecosystem services in disaster risk reduction

Bibliographic details:

Guadagno, L., Depietri, Y., & Fra, U. (2013). Urban disaster risk reduction and ecosystem services. The role of ecosystem services in disaster risk reduction. United Nations University, Bonn, 389-415

Abstract:

Urban areas are growing worldwide and for the first time in human history they host more than half of the total human population. They have always been the places where most human interactions take place and where cultural, economic and political activities are concentrated. On the one hand, urban areas have enabled human populations to be less reliant on local ecosystems, building a wider service network and relying on more distant areas for the supply of resources. On the other hand, urban areas are increasingly located in or expand into hazard-prone areas. Cities are also responsible for ecosystem degradation, diminishing their regulating functions and buffering capacity with respect to hazards, further increasing urban risk. Though “hard” engineered technologies have traditionally been adopted to reduce the vulnerability of urban areas to hazards, “soft” technologies, utilizing natural infrastructure to mitigate hazard impacts, often provide cost effective strategies, while also guaranteeing access to different sources of livelihoods. This chapter aims to introduce the particular features of disaster risk in urban areas, while focusing on both “local” and “distant” ecosystems and their role in mitigating the impacts of hazards in cities. Case studies are included which illustrate good practices in the adoption of an ecosystem approach in urban areas for disaster risk reduction.

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