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Effective planning and preparedness can help mitigate their impact.

Prevention and Prepardness Reduces the Impact of Disasters

On 3rd July, 2014 a joint report by the World Bank Group and the Government of Japan is released in LONDON, which focuses on the disaster and risk management lessons learned from Japan's megadisaster(The Great Japan Earthquake of 2011). The report points out that, given the prospect of more extreme weather events, the world must shift from a response to a culture of prevention and resilience.

Alongside the report, University College London (UCL) and the World Bank Group's Leadership, Learning and Innovation Vice Presidency will launch a new research project. 'Learning from Crisis', based on the report and going beyond natural diasters to consider financial crises, crime security and other crises scenarios. The research will be conducted in cities in see how city leaders lern from disasters and how they incorporate this learning into future planning.

According to Sanjay Pradhan, the World Bank Group’s Vice President of Leadership, Learning and Innovation, “Risks of all kinds, from natural disasters to the financial crisis, have the potential to cause huge devastation to communities worldwide. However, research has shown that societies that successfully adapt to these risks are able to show dramatic gains. We believe, therefore, that learning from disasters and crises is relevant to all of us.”

Dr. Michele Acuto, UCL’s Research Director of the Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy, notes “This project responds to the growing awareness of the roles city leaders in the developed and developing world have in responding in a systematic way to sudden crises with very urban effects as with Typhoon Haiyan or the London riots. By working with the World Bank Group, we hope to understand whether and how cities learn from crises, aiming to develop a toolkit for city leaders going forward.”

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SENSUM Study Areas

A novel sampling framework will be developed that guides the in-situ data collection and integration process. Novel in-situ data collection tools (e.g. omni-directional imaging) will be included. Advanced analysis and processing of current and future space-based products will enhance the approach. Uncertainties will be fully considered. Soon-to-be-released space products such as DLR Global Urban Footprint will be validated and their integration with the proposed methodologies explored. Data needs for post-disaster recovery will be addressed within the same framework, resulting in a comprehensive methodological solution to the monitoring of time-varying indicators at multiple spatial scales throughout the disaster cycle.

The consortium of 8 prominent scientific institutions and highly skilled SMEs has considerable experience in their respective fields. Many partners currently collaborate on the Global Earthquake Model Inventory Data Collection Tool (GEM IDCT). The ultimate goal is to produce a multi-resolution time varying indicator monitoring framework that applies to the whole disaster cycle. The framework is intended to· become the de-facto standard for future mapping of vulnerabilities.


Co-funded by the European Commission under FP7 (Seventh Framework Programme)
THEME [SPA.2012.1.1-04] Support to emergency response management - Grant agreement no: 312972

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