Applications to Enhance Urban Resiliency

A primary objective of new urban seismic risk methods is to identify and address the buildings (e.g., older structures, and structures with critical deficiencies) that present the greatest overall risks, considering the impacts on adjacent buildings.  This broader view should improve the effectiveness of programs to achieve resilient and sustainable cities.  For example, current efforts to initiate programs for rating the seismic performance of buildings (USRC) can identify buildings that are seismically dangerous to the people and businesses within, but currently consider the building in isoaltion from its (possibly dangerous) neighbors.  Urban seismic risk methods that address the collateral consequences of collapse will provide additional incentives and improved prioritization of measures to reduce the overall seismic risks to the surrounding area.  Such methods can be combined – putting the information gathered from building ratings to work within urban seismic risk models that include collateral impacts from collapse – to identify the “bad actors” that can cause widespread damage and loss of life in strong earthquakes that strike the urban center.

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