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Disaster risk reduction for waterfront urban areas: The case of water level rise adaptation methods in Baku, Geneva and San Francisco

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Presented at Understanding the problems of Inland Waters: Case Study for the Caspian Basin. Baku, Azerbaijan - 12-14 May - . 2018, p. pp. 296-297
Abstract The effects of climate change are impacting the cities and the concerns about the cities future in terms of resilience are increasing. Increasing complexity of disasters impacts the coastal zones of cities, which are predominantly characterized by high density of land use and population. Almost 65 percent of cities with populations above 2.5 million today are located along the world coasts and sixty percent of the world’s population already lives in coastal areas (Xalxo, 2007). In addition to the risks associated to coastal cities (irregularities of precipitation, cyclic changing of water level) the Caspian Sea has its particular risks related to the patterns of urban development and industrial development (e.g. oil exploration) on the Sea. The rapid rise of Caspian Sea water level (about 2.25 meters since 1978) has caused much concern to all five littoral countries, primarily because flooding has destroyed or damaged buildings and other engineering structures, roads, beaches and farm lands in the coastal zone (Roshan et al., 2012). Today, the Caspian Sea water level (attitude -28) can possibly rise to a maximum of -25/-26 level (if continuous humid years occur), which means Sea level can possible rise up to 2.5 meters or drop off 1.5 meters within the natural variation cycle (EIA report, Baku Shipyard Project, 2011). Perennial fluctuations in sea level are due to changes in its water balance elements under influences of climate changes and use of water resources in catchment area of the Sea (Mansimov M.R. et al., 1999). These fluctuation changes can impact negatively on the built environment and human security. In case of increase of water level, it may cause social and economic disruption, environmental degradation, chemical pollution of the waterfront areas related to the oil industry, erosion, landslide etc. Whereas, in case of decrease, it may cause the dust and sand winds, storms, salinization of the land, as well as it can impact agriculture. In another word, it can impact human security. The natural disasters which impact the human security and the cities infrastructure - have shown the importance of disaster risk reduction (DRR) and climate adaptation program in cities. The measures of the program shouldn’t be only construction project as an “afterthought” (Bosher et al., 2007a). Indeed, it should be seen as a continuous process, with resilience being methodically built into the design, construction and operation processes (DCOP). The different methods of urban planning have their role to play in reducing and managing the range of hazards and uncertainties. The inquiries highlight the importance of physical/protective interventions which should be integrated into the built environment. Throughout the presentation, the possible vulnerabilities scenarios for waterfront urban area of the city of Baku will be shown and different methods towards DRR and adaptation that have been implemented in Geneva and San Francisco will be shared.
Keywords Urban planningDisaster risk reductionWaterfront urban areasWater level rise adaptation methodsBaku
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Research group Pôle/Institut Gouvernance de l'environnement et développement territorial (PI-GEDT)
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ALIYEV, Tural. Disaster risk reduction for waterfront urban areas: The case of water level rise adaptation methods in Baku, Geneva and San Francisco. In: Understanding the problems of Inland Waters: Case Study for the Caspian Basin. Baku, Azerbaijan. 2018. pp. 296-297 p. https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:112089

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Deposited on : 2018-12-06

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