What it's about:
In a new study, Colorado State University civil engineers offer an innovative approach to defining resilience that could help communities better prepare for hazards.
The mathematical model integrates infrastructural, social and economic features to quantify how well a community would withstand a major shakeup, whether a natural hazard like a flood or a social disruption like the Arab Spring in 2011.
Metrics used to measure resilience usually fall into “lifelines”, including water, housing, power, health, community and transportation, the university says.
In Hussam Mahmoud and Akshat Chulahwat’s approach, recovery of all lifelines is unified into one resilience metric and simplified to consider social vulnerabilities, funds available for recovery, and robustness of infrastructure.
The researchers tested their model using a map of the fictional Batman home city, Gotham, to record the effects of shocks and stresses - including a jail riot at Arkham Asylum - in different parts of town.
Why it's noteworthy:
The study found, among other things, that a fast recovery may not always be best, because bouncing back too quickly can result in instabilities.
The model can help determine how a community is affected in the long-term when it is hit by a natural disaster, economic downturn or social disruption, the researchers said.
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Colorado State University