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close this bookCrucibles of Hazard: Mega-Cities and Disasters in Transition (UNU, 1999, 544 pages)
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

Appendices

1. What is the population of the world's largest cities?

It is impossible to be sure of the exact population of the world's largest cities. Among others: definitions of cities vary; municipal boundaries vary; the existence, frequency, and accuracy of urban censuses vary; and rates of population change vary. The following table provides the most authoritative estimates of urban population for 14 of the largest cities.

City

Population, 1994 (millions)

Per capita GNP, 1991 (US$)

Tokyo

26.8

26,824

São Paulo

16.4

2,920

New York

16.1

22,356

Mexico City

15.6

2,971

Shanghai

15.1

364

Bombay

15.1

330

Los Angeles

12.4

22,356

Beijing

12.4

364

Calcutta

11.7

330

Seoul

11.6

6,277

Jakarta

11.5

592

Buenos Aires

10.0

3,966

Tianjin

10.7

364

Osaka

10.6

26,824

Source: United Nations, World Urbanization Project. The 1994 Revision, New York, 1995.

2. Known pre-twentieth-century urban disasters that killed more than 10,000 city residents

Year

City

Nature of disaster and death toll

365

Alexandria (Egypt)

Tsunami killed "many thousands"

526

Antioch (Syria)

Earthquake killed about 250,000

1041

Tabriz (Iran)

Earthquake killed 40,000

1138

Kirovabad (Tadjikistan)

Earthquake killed 130,000 in and around the city

1169

Catania (Italy)

Volcanic eruption killed 15,000 - most of city's population

1627 - 29

Mexico City

Floods killed about 20% of city's 127,000 people

1642

Kaifeng (China)

Deliberate breaching of a dyke on the Hwang Ho River killed most of the city's 200,000 - 300,000 inhabitants

1693

Naples (Italy)

Earthquake killed over 90,000 of about 200,000 residents

1721

Tabriz (Iran)

Earthquake killed about half the population of 150,000

1746

Lima (Peru)

Earthquake killed many of the city's 40,000 people

1755

Lisbon (Portugal)

Earthquake and tsunami killed 10,000 - 60,000 of the city's estimated 300,000 people

1773

Guatemala City

Earthquake killed many of city's 30,000 people

1797

Quito (Ecuador)

Earthquake killed 40,000 in and around this city of 30,000

1822

Aleppo (Syria)

Earthquake killed 100,000 out of 150,000 inhabitants

1824

St. Petersburg (Russia)

Ice jam floods killed 10,000

1853

Shiraz (Iran)

Earthquake killed 12,000 of 22,000 inhabitants

1864

Calcutta (India)

Cyclone killed "tens of thousands"

1881

Haiphong (Vietnam)

Typhoon killed 300,000 in and around the city

1882

Bombay (India)

Cyclone killed 100,000 people in and around this city of 800,000+ residents

Note: Many other cities suffered extensive destruction of property but relatively few deaths and injuries, especially as a result of catastrophic urban fires. The Great Fire of London (1666), the Chicago fire (1871), and the San Francisco (post-earthquake) fire (1906) are well-known examples. For additional US examples, see Christine Meisner Rosen, The limits of power: Great fires and the process of city growth in America, New York: Cambridge University Press, 1986.

3. Habitat II: Urban indicators that reflect the effects of environmental (natural, technological, social) hazards and disasters

Participants in the Habitat II conference process identified 27 indicators that are useful for making comparisons among conditions of urban living throughout the world. Indicator data from 235 cities in 110 countries were collected during 1995 - 1996. The following three indicators directly or indirectly measure some aspect of environmental hazard:

Indicator 19:

Housing destroyed. Defined as the proportion of housing stock destroyed per thousand by natural or man-made disasters over the past 10 years.

Indicator 10:

Median price of water, scarce season.

Indicator 6:

Crime rates. Defined as reported murders and reported thefts per thousand population annually.

4. Habitat II: Top 105 best practices of urban development that involve disaster management and humanitarian investment

Title of project

Location

Urban Planning and Reconstruction of a War-torn City Centre, Beirut

Lebanonb

Resettlement in Northern Iraq

Iraq

Palestinian Housing Council

Palestine

Housing Settlement Project in Shanghai

Chinab

Post-Calamity Reconstruction of Anhui Province's Rural Areasa

China

Urban community development for the resettlement of Ein Helwan, Cairoa

Egyptb

Source: United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II), Annotated bibliography of best practices 100 list, A/CONF.165/CRP.3, Nairobi, 11 April 1996.

a. Projects undertaken in response to natural disasters.
b. Projects located in large urban areas (mega-cities).

5. Habitat II: Best practices of urban development that involve the reduction or management of natural hazards and disasters

Title of project

Location

A Structural Program for Hazardous Slum Areas in Belo Horizonte

Brazila

Favela-Bairro Program

Brazil

Natural Disaster Control Plan in Serro do Mar, Cubatao Region

Brazila

Rehabilitation of Urban Areas - Guarapiranga Project

Brazil

Prevention and Reduction of Geological Risks in the Hills of Santos

Brazila

Post-disaster Reconstruction and Rehabilitation of Rural Areas in Anhui

China

Reconstruction of Ethnic Miao Wood Houses, Zhengdou village, Guangxi

China

Applicable Technology for Rebuilding Houses Damaged by Earthquakes

Costa Ricaa

Disaster Management

Cuba

A Comprehensive Urban Development Project for Earthquake Victims

Egypta

The Construction of 100 Schools - Contribution of Egyptian citizens

Egypta

Developing the Constructive Urbane Environment in Sohag

Egypt

El-Tadamon Village - Assuite

Egypt

The National Projects for Establishing New Villages in Upper Egypt

Egypt

The Role of the Ministry of Urban Communities

Egypt

Innovative Shelter Delivery Mechanisms for Earthquake Affected Villages

India

Source: Best Practices Database, Habitat II (1997). http://www.bestpractices.org.
a. Projects located in large urban areas (mega-cities).

6. Habitat II: Best practices of urban development that involve the reduction or management of technological hazards and disasters

Title of project

Location

Vienna Air Monitoring Network

Austriaa

The Establishment of the Pedagogical Process of Traffic

Brazil

The Intersectoral Involvement of Society in Traffic Safety

Brazil

Helsinki - The Energy Efficient City

Finlanda

Intervention in Historic Settlement of the Plaka - Conservation Revival

Greece

Solar Village 3

Greece

Tehran's Action Plans for Improving the Living Environment

Irana

Promotion of Latrine Construction by Low-income Households in Maputo

Mozambiquea

Introducing Public Transport by Trolley-Bus

Romania

Reducing Pollution and Improving Environmental Quality

Romania

Improving Living Environments Through Comprehensive Local Policy

Sweden

The City of Stockholm

Swedena

Electric Buses, Application and Research

USA

Switched Onto Safety

United Kingdom

Changing Travel Behaviour and Public Attitudes to Transport in Hampshire

United Kingdom

Energy Efficient Best Practice Programme

United Kingdom

Sustainability Indicators in Merton

United Kingdom

Blueprint for Leicester - Focus on Leicester's Home Energy Strategy

United Kingdom

Source: Best Practices Database, Habitat II (1997). http://www.bestpractices.org.
a. Projects located in large urban areas (mega-cities).