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Spatial Modelling of Urban Physical Vulnerability to Explosion Hazards Using GIS and Fuzzy MCDA

Yasser Ebrahimian Ghajari (), Ali Asghar Alesheikh (), Mahdi Modiri (), Reza Hosnavi () and Morteza Abbasi ()
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Yasser Ebrahimian Ghajari: GIS Department, Malek Ashtar University of Technology, Tehran 15875-1774, Iran
Ali Asghar Alesheikh: GIS Department, Khaje Nasiroddin Toosi University of Technology, Tehran 19967-15433, Iran
Mahdi Modiri: GIS Department, Malek Ashtar University of Technology, Tehran 15875-1774, Iran
Reza Hosnavi: GIS Department, Malek Ashtar University of Technology, Tehran 15875-1774, Iran
Morteza Abbasi: GIS Department, Malek Ashtar University of Technology, Tehran 15875-1774, Iran

Sustainability, 2017, vol. 9, issue 7, 1-29

Abstract: Most of the world’s population is concentrated in accumulated spaces in the form of cities, making the concept of urban planning a significant issue for consideration by decision makers. Urban vulnerability is a major issue which arises in urban management, and is simply defined as how vulnerable various structures in a city are to different hazards. Reducing urban vulnerability and enhancing resilience are considered to be essential steps towards achieving urban sustainability. To date, a vast body of literature has focused on investigating urban systems’ vulnerabilities with regard to natural hazards. However, less attention has been paid to vulnerabilities resulting from man-made hazards. This study proposes to investigate the physical vulnerability of buildings in District 6 of Tehran, Iran, with respect to intentional explosion hazards. A total of 14 vulnerability criteria are identified according to the opinions of various experts, and standard maps for each of these criteria have been generated in a GIS environment. Ultimately, an ordered weighted averaging (OWA) technique was applied to generate vulnerability maps for different risk conditions. The results of the present study indicate that only about 25 percent of buildings in the study area have a low level of vulnerability under moderate risk conditions. Sensitivity analysis further illustrates the robustness of the results obtained. Finally, the paper concludes by arguing that local authorities must focus more on risk-reduction techniques in order to reduce physical vulnerability and achieve urban sustainability.

Keywords: urban sustainability; urban physical vulnerability; intentional explosion hazards; fuzzy set theory; multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA); geospatial information systems (GIS) (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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