Cambridge University centre for Risk in the Built Environment (CURBE), Department of Architecture, University of Cambridge (UCAM)

Cambridge University centre for Risk in the Built Environment (CURBE), Department of Architecture, University of Cambridge (UCAM) is a research group founded in 1999, although work in the field of earthquake engineering has been ongoing at the Department of Architecture for the past 25 years. Founded and lead by Professor Robin Spence, CURBE is a multi-disciplinary group of experts from various disciplines, including civil and structural engineering, geospatial information, public health, volcanology, statistics, hydrology, information technology, geophysics, architecture and social science working at the various departments within the University of
Cambridge. CURBE provides a structure for interdisciplinary collaboration for disaster and risk research to propose inter-disciplinary solutions to disaster and risk issues, particularly related to reducing detrimental impacts of natural disasters and vulnerability of the built environment.

Work on earthquake risk and post-event damage assessment at the Department of Architecture, University of Cambridge has been continuing for nearly 25 years. Many predictive tools and loss estimation methods for earthquakes, floods and volcanic eruptions have been developed in a series of projects supported both by the EU (Earthquake Protection for Historic Town Centres EV5V-CT93-0305, Seismic Protection of Hospitals EV5V-CT93-0279, 1994-96) and EPSRC UK. Results and findings have been disseminated and used for loss estimation purposes by urban authorities (e.g. in Bursa, Turkey and Mexico City) and by insurance and reinsurance companies (Spence et al 1998, Bommer, Spence et al 2001). Projects include the application of highresolution satellite images for post-earthquake damage assessment funded by EPSRC (GR/S75642/01, 2003-5), developing impact models for the assessment of damage from volcanic eruptions (EXPLORIS, FP6, EVR1-2001-00047, 2002-06) and from earthquakes (LessLoss, GOCE-CT-2003-505448, 2004-2007) funded by the EU. Since 2007, investigation into the role of spatial data, in particular remotely sensed data, for the planning, monitoring and evaluation processes of early and long term recovery following disasters is ongoing, with funding from the UK EPSRC. Combining remotely sensed data with ground survey and other secondary data
sources, the methodologies derived from the project are currently being tested with early adopters (e.g. The British Red Cross in Haiti, the civil protection authorities in Chile) in real recovery situations. In 2011, CURBE, Cambridge Architectural Research Ltd and ImageCatLtd formed the ReBuilDD consortium with a view to operationalise the recovery planning, monitoring and evaluation tools developed through the original project.

Specific role in SENSUM:

Leader WP5, Participant in WP1, WP3, WP4, WP6, WP7.