3. Cities and DRR

Cities have distinctive physical, environmental and socio-cultural features that may increase hazards, exposure and vulnerability and ultimately disaster occurrence. This section introduces cities as places of complexity, as connectors of multiple domains and scales, as places with particular identities and specialisations. We feel it is important to raise awareness of how urban traits related to the urban fabric, the multiple links at different spatial and temporal scales affect Disaster Risk Reduction, partly drawing on our own EDUCEN experiences. The section is organised as follows. The first subsection presents the main features that make cities so complex, requiring analysts and decision makers to adopt a systemic approach in order to comprehend and manage such complexity. The second subsection describes the key role played by lifelines as critical infrastructures guaranteeing cities’ life and functioning. In the last section the implication of cities’ and critical infrastructures’ complexity for disaster risk management are wrapped up, providing synthetic guidelines for mitigating and reducing risks across the so called disaster cycle.

3.1. Cities: places of complexity
3.1.1. Historic and present dynamics in cities
3.1.2. The relevance of spatial scales to cities
3.1.3. Urban patterns
3.2. Links between physical infrastructure and social networks in L’Aquila
3.2.1. Resilience of hard and soft infrastructures
3.2.2. Building back better, the case of L’Aquila
3.3. How cities are managed matters
3.3.1. Strategies and intervention across the “disaster cycle”