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Landslides-oriented urban disaster resilience assessment—A case study in ShenZhen, China

Zhang, Xiwen, Song, Jing, Peng, Jian, Wu, Jiansheng
The Science of the total environment 2019 v.661 pp. 95-106
case studies, cities, disaster preparedness, disasters, ecosystems, infrastructure, landslides, laterites, models, rain, shale, social services, support vector machines, topography, urbanization, China
With the increasing expansion of cities associated with rapid urbanization, the ecological environment is being severely damaged, exposing cities to frequent extreme weather events. Urban ecological ecosystems are under great threat. Research on urban disaster resilience is conducive to a better understanding of disaster prevention and mitigation capacity, and provides valuable references for resilient city construction. In this study, a typical city under rapid urbanization in China – Shenzhen – was chosen as the research area, including the city's 57 sub-districts. Urban disaster resilience to rainfall-induced landslides was conceptually framed into the dimensions of physical resilience and social resilience. Support vector machine (SVM) was applied to evaluate the physical resilience and a Delphi-analytic hierarchy process (Delphi-AHP) model was used to assess social resilience on a sub-district scale in 2016. The results show that the physical resilience and social resilience of Shenzhen demonstrate obvious spatial concentration trends. Areas with low physical resilience were located in sub-districts of Dapeng New District with intense rainfall and complex topography, as well as those in Guangming New District with lateritic red earth derived from arenaceous shale. Areas with low social resilience were mainly located in eastern Shenzhen, including sub-districts in Longgang District and Dapeng New District, with undeveloped economy, inadequate infrastructures and many vulnerable people. All sub-districts in the three districts of Pingshan New District, Dapeng New District and Guangming New District need attention because of their low comprehensive resilience. Comparison of the physical resilience and social resilience indicated that the performance of physical resilience was significantly better than that of social resilience; only 26% of the sub-districts of Shenzhen had a higher level of social resilience than of physical resilience. Therefore, the government should strengthen urban management of social services and physical infrastructure provision to improve social resilience to cope with urban disasters.