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close this bookCrucibles of Hazard: Mega-Cities and Disasters in Transition (United Nations University, 1999, 544 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentAcknowledgements
View the document1. Introduction - James K. Mitchell
View the document2. Natural disasters in the context of mega-cities - James K. Mitchell
View the document3. Urbanization and disaster mitigation in Tokyo - Yoshio Kumagai and Yoshiteru Nojima
View the document4. Flood hazard in Seoul: A preliminary assessment - Kwi-Gon Kim
View the document5. Environmental hazards in Dhaka - Saleemul Huq
View the document6. Natural and anthropogenic hazards in the Sydney sprawl: Is the city sustainable? - John Handmer
View the document7. Disaster response in London: A case of learning constrained by history and experience - Dennis J. Parker
View the document8. Lima, Peru: Underdevelopment and vulnerability to hazards in the city of the kings - Anthony Oliver-Smith
View the document9. Social vulnerability to disasters in Mexico City: An assessment method - Sergio Puente
View the document10. Natural hazards of the San Francisco Bay mega-city: Trial by earthquake, wind, and fire - Rutherford H. Platt
View the document11. There are worse things than earthquakes: Hazard vulnerability and mitigation capacity in Greater Los Angeles - Ben Wisner
View the document12. Environmental hazards and interest group coalitions: Metropolitan Miami after hurricane Andrew - William D. Solecki
View the document13. Findings and conclusions - James K. Mitchell
View the documentPostscript: The role of hazards in urban policy at the millennium - James K. Mitchell
View the documentAppendices
View the documentContributors
View the documentOther titles of interest

Other titles of interest

The Long Road to Recovery Community Responses to Industrial Disaster

Edited by James K. Mitchell

This book presents the results of long-term case-studies of seven highly publicized industrial disasters that occurred in different parts of the world in the years between 1949 and 1989 - the mercury contamination in Minamata, Japan; the underground fires in Centralia, Pennsylvania, USA: the airborne dioxin release at Seveso, Italy; the poison gas cloud in Bhopal, India; the nuclear reactor fire at Chernobyl, Ukraine; the destruction of Iran's oil facilities during the war with Iraq; and the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska.

ISBN 92-808-0926-1

Environment, Energy, and Economy: Strategies for Sustainability

Edited by Yoichi Kaya and Keiichi Yokobori

This book looks at various aspects of the interrelationship among the environment, energy requirements, and economic development in developing as well as industrialized countries. It emphasizes such issues as the growing importance of developing countries in energy consumption and increased stress on the environment; the likelihood of growing energy requirements and associated environmental burdens, including higher greenhouse gas contributions; the importance of deforestation and desertification and their impact on rural societies in developing countries; the role of new technologies in solving the trilemma of energy, economic development, and the environment, and the opportunities for developing countries in implementing phased approaches; and the need for removing technological, market, and social barriers to achieve sustainable development.

ISBN 92-808-0911-3

United Nations University Press

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Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-8925, Japan
Tel: (03) 3499-2811, Fax: (03) 3406-7345


As a result of repeated experiences with devastating earthquakes, storms, floods and wildfires, places like Tokyo, Mexico City, San Francisco and Los Angeles are already identified with catastrophe in both scientific literature and popular culture. Similar prospects face less obvious urban candidates like Dhaka, Miami, London, Lima, Seoul and Sydney. This collaborative study of environmental risks in ten of the world's major cities was led by the International Geographical Union's Study Group on the Disaster Vulnerability of Megacities. Geographers, planners and other experts examine the hazard experiences of case-study cities and analyze their future risks.

The authors conclude that the natural disaster potential of the biggest cities is expanding at a pace which far exceeds the rate of urbanisation. New amalgams of hazard are being created in metropolitan areas with overlapping natural, technological, biological and social risks, exposing more people and places to environmental hazards. Safety gaps are widening among differentially vulnerable populations and neighborhoods at risk. Public policies and hazard response measures are increasingly being tested beyond their capacities, with tragic consequences.

In addition to tracing hazard trends and arguing in support of management reforms that can be implemented quickly, "Crucibles of Hazard" directs attention to long-term issues of safety and security that must be resolved for urban sustainability. Opportunities for such innovative policy-making include: capitalizing on the role of hazards as agents of urban diversification; broadening the scope for employing hazard-based contingency planning models in other urban governance contexts: and mobilizing hazard myths and metaphors as unifying sources of inspiration for diverse and sometimes fractious metropolitan constituencies.

James K. Mitchell is Professor of Geography at Rutgers University.

ISBN 92-808-0987-3

United Nations University Press