Journal cover Journal topic
Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 11, 2107-2123, 2011
© Author(s) 2011. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
04 Aug 2011
Assessment of urban vulnerability towards floods using an indicator-based approach – a case study for Santiago de Chile
A. Müller1, J. Reiter2, and U. Weiland3 1Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), Department Urban and Environmental Sociology, Permoserstr. 15, 04318 Leipzig, Germany
2Humboldt University of Berlin, Department for Geography, Rudower Chaussee 16, 12489 Berlin, Germany
3University of Leipzig, Institute for Geography, Johannisallee 19a, 04103 Leipzig, Germany
Abstract. Regularly occurring flood events do have a history in Santiago de Chile, the capital city of Chile and study area for this research. The analysis of flood events, the resulting damage and its causes are crucial prerequisites for the development of risk prevention measures. The goal of this research is to empirically investigate the vulnerability towards floods in Santiago de Chile as one component of flood risk. The analysis and assessment of vulnerability is based on the application of a multi-scale (individual, household, municipal level) set of indicators and the use of a broad range of data. The case-specific set of indicators developed in this study shows the relevant variables and their interrelations influencing the flood vulnerability in the study area. It provides a decision support tool for stakeholders and allows for monitoring and evaluating changes over time. The paper outlines how GIS, census, and remote sensing data as well as household surveys and expert interviews are used as an information base for the derivation of a vulnerability map for two municipalities located in the eastern part of Santiago de Chile. The generation of vulnerability maps representing the two different perspectives of local decision makers (experts) and affected households is exemplified and discussed using the developed methodology.

Citation: Müller, A., Reiter, J., and Weiland, U.: Assessment of urban vulnerability towards floods using an indicator-based approach – a case study for Santiago de Chile, Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 11, 2107-2123,, 2011.
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