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Understanding earthquake resilience in Chile: The pros and cons of safe buildings

Rivera Jofre, F; Rossetto, T; Twigg, J; (2019) Understanding earthquake resilience in Chile: The pros and cons of safe buildings. In: Proceedings of the SECED 2019 Conference: Earthquake risk and engineering towards a resilient world,. SECED: Greenwich, London. Green open access

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Abstract

Chile is one of the most seismic yet also one of the most earthquake-resilient countries in the world. This article seeks to understand the process of resilience building in the country and its implications for urban contexts. For this purpose, semi-structured interviews are conducted to 16 Chilean experts from the fields of seismic engineering, urban planning, emergency management and disaster risk reduction (DRR), and representatives from different public and private stakeholders (e.g., academics, practitioners, public servants, local government authorities). Results show that the main approach that the Chilean state has used to provide seismic resilience has been purely rational, by means of safe and high-quality buildings. This has led to earthquake risk being essentially absent from the urban planning regulation. Although this approach has provided good overall results in time, over-reliance in seismic safety of buildings has contributed to a weak national DRR system which failed its most recent test after the 2010 earthquake and tsunami. The increasing complexity and concentration of people and assets in cities, together with the dynamism of knowledge about local seismicity are challenging this rational approach. Thus, a call for a more comprehensive approach for seismic resilience provision arises, which based on the successfully provided safe buildings could also tackle the social and political dimensions of earthquake risk in urban contexts.

Type: Proceedings paper
Title: Understanding earthquake resilience in Chile: The pros and cons of safe buildings
Event: SECED 2019 Conference: Earthquake risk and engineering towards a resilient world,
Location: Greenwich, London, UK
Dates: 09 September 2019 - 10 September 2019
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: https://www.seced.org.uk/index.php/proceedings
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Civil, Environ and Geomatic Eng
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10093419
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