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This subject examines the impacts of disasters in cities. It will explore why some groups are more vulnerable to particular hazards than others, while considering the role of social capital and adaptation for increasing the resilience of urban communities to disasters.This is important because the trend towards increasing urbanisation and larger cities is a major contributor to the rising toll of disaster losses globally. In addition, climate change predictions indicate that natural hazards such as bushfires, floods, storms and cyclones are likely to increase in intensity and possibly also frequency in many places, including cities. Contemporary cases will be used to highlight key issues and policy debates. Implications for urban planning and disaster planning and management in cities and at the rural-urban interface will be considered.
Cases and examples will be drawn from around the world, primarily from developed countries. Students will have the opportunity to examine case/s of their own choosing (with approval from the subject coordinator), and will undertake locally based research in preparation of the field report. There will be a local field trip associated with this subject.
Intended learning outcomes
Students who complete this subject will:
- Comprehend a range of social theories and concepts used to study disasters in an urban environment
- Understand the complexities and dynamic relationships between cities and hazards
- Understand the way these complex city/hazard relationships make some groups more vulnerable than others
- Be able to critically evaluate disaster management policies and practices in an urban context
Students who complete this subject will have:
- Developed their ability to critically evaluate different theories and concepts
- Demonstrated their capacity to transfer this knowledge to applied analysis
- Improved their written and oral communication skills, particularly in relation to the development of their own critical arguments and communication of research findiings
Last updated: 15 February 2024