The Madness of Crowding: Urban Vulnerability

Sun. 1:30-3:00 p.m., Centennial E

If risk is defined as hazard multiplied by vulnerable population, then urban areas are increasingly dangerous places because both variables are escalating. Climate change and sea-level rise will increase climatological and hydrological hazards, particularly for the many cities located on the water. In poorer cities, densely settled residents are rendered particularly vulnerable by substandard construction, poor sanitation, environmental degradation, inadequate health care, food scarcity, and social disruption—as shown vividly in the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Overarching solutions to these deep structural problems are not at all clear. Can patterns of vulnerability and resilience be identified across diverse urban areas, or is urban vulnerability so context specific and complex that it must be addressed on a case-by-case basis?

Philip Berke Philip Berke, Moderator
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Patricia Romero Lankao Patricia Romero Lankao, Panelist
National Center for Atmospheric Research


Dennis WengerDennis Wenger, Panelist
National Science Foundation


Stephanie ChangStephanie Chang, Panelist
University of British Columbia


William SiembiedaWilliam Siembieda, Panelist
California Polytechnic State University