From élites to collaboration: towards a resilient approach to natural hazards analysis & emergency management
From élites to collaboration: towards a resilient approach to natural hazards analysis &emergency managementElena Rapisardi(1,2); Marco Giardino (1,2) and Massimo Lanfranco(2,3)(1) UNITO - Department of Earth Sciences. Via Valperga Caluso 35, Torino - firstname.lastname@example.org(2) UNITO - NatRisk Interdipartimental Centre. Via Valperga Caluso 35, Torino - email@example.com(3) UNITO - Doctoral School in Strategic Sciences, Via Po 31, Torino - firstname.lastname@example.orgKEY WORDS: Geolocation, data management, natural hazards, resilience, resilient information..The presentation illustrates the background and in se a dramatic innovation in the disasterthe aim of the research project “Collaborative scenario, to cope with. Moreover the technologicalmanagement of data for natural risk prevention development is having a huge impact on GIS andand civil protection”1 at the Doctoral School of more generally on geographic disciplines. As aSciences and Innovative technologies of the matter of fact information is becoming more andUniversity of Torino, Italy. more “geolocation dependent” and this is witnessed by the “ geographic phase” of socialFrom Protection to Resilience media. The “democratisation of GIS” [Butler, 2006 ], started with Google Earth, and mash-upsIt is acknowledged that major and minor disasters created by common people [Goodchild, 2007]are a “reality” to cope with, as they are part of our (e.g. Ushahidi platform) are now changing theenvironment. In the last 20 years the wider debate whole background, with important consequenceson disasters preparedness and relief operations in risk prevention and emergency management.underline that our culture should switch from Key-words such as “crowdsourcing” and“war” against hazards to “preparedness” in order “crowdmapping”, state that the worldwide citizensto decrease the vulnerability of our societies community is becoming a main player in the[Wisner et al., 1994]. In this perspective the key volunteered geographic information (VGI)word “resilience” fosters a wider cultural change production [Goodchild, 2007] during crisis andthat should drive the risk & emergency management emergency events. This democratisation of thetowards a participatory dimension of all the key information, supported by the VTC (Volunteersplayers: scientific communities experts, civil Technical Communities) enhances thatprotection bodies, media, citizens, volunteers, civil collaboration, enabled by web technology, couldsociety. The aim is to “develop a network between represent a radical change in the whole Disasterall civil protection actors and interested parties, Cycle (fig. 1), that involves not only citizens butincluding the private sector; increasing the also scientific community, institutions, experts,knowledge of new prevention, preparedness and relief bodies, media representatives.response technologies available on the market;and raise public awareness [3rd EU CivilProtection Forum - Bruxelles, 2009]. This could beinterpreted as a call to switch from protection(passive behaviour) to resilience, increasing theusercitizenslocal-bodies responsibility andproactive behaviour.The post-Gutemberg revolution as innovationdriver of the information flow in Disaster CycleThe web 2.0 revolution is a twofold reality:technological and cultural. The widespreaddiffusion of web 2.0 technologies is changing theoverall organisation of information production[Benkler, 2006] and depriving the institutionalisedmediations models. The new actor in theinformation scene is the crowd and its talent in Figure 1 – The Disaster Cycle (What makes a disaster?producing, disseminating, selecting and promoting by Ian Davis,- http://goo.gl/FK7Jq)information. Besides the validation and reliabilityimplications, the “talent of the crowd” represents1 MIUR scholarship “Progetto Giovani” in the Research field “Sistemi di telecomunicazione innovativi a larga bandaanche con impiego di satelliti per utenze differenziate in materia di sicurezza, prevenzione e intervento in caso dicatastrofi naturali”
In this perspective collaboration becomes not only The project team experimented the geolocateda citizens approach, but also a challenge for photo sharing in real time with the operationalscholars and practitioners. A collaboration trend centre. [google+ photosharing tool and Picasa]whose aim is to produce, exchange, and share This first test simulated a sharing approach to beinformation in a world wide open and free developed between relief bodies and citizens orenvironment, in the stream of Open Government volunteers.and Open Data. Web & mobile access are 3. Geolocated assessment - Actors involved: COCenablers and channels for achieving: [Municipality Operational Centre], civil• citizens engagement in preparedness, planning, protection operatives and volunteers early warning, relief, restore; In order to exchange and share information the• faster relief with improved situational awareness; COC of Mulazzo set up a privately-shared google• communication strategy both bottom/up and top/ map to geolocate landslides and related down; damages. This map allowed different actors to• resilience enhancement with local storytelling. “view” in distance the same information for supporting the decision making process.The Research Project: Collaborativemanagement of data The next step: Resilient InformationThe background of our project is the analysis of On the basis of this first test, the project willthe Varazze flash flood event, April 10, 2010 design and experiment a Geosciences Information(Lanfranco & Rapisardi, 2011).By taking into Stream, enabled by web 2.0 app and tools, thataccount the web 2.0 revolution and the involves in a continuum “users” and “contributors”international best practices, the Varazze case of the disaster cycle.study outlined: Particularly, starting from the November flash• To what extent web 2.0 mobile technologies and flood case studies, the research project will outline tools would have changed the scenario? practices and web/mobile tools to set up a• How to develop a “resilient information” flow both collaborative multilevel environment in order to bottom/up and top/down? improve and practice:• How to manage the crowdsourced information in • the sharing of reliable and acknowledged a risk and emergency management perspective? geographical information, such as geological• How to raise citizens and media awareness on maps, hazard maps, enviromental status, information need during crisis and in the whole weather forecast. Including the Open Data issue; disaster cycle? • the collaborative management of geodata streamLater, on november 2011 another succession of from different sources for risk management andflash floods struck both Tuscany and Liguria decision making;regions, resulting in a loss of lives and in • the raising awareness on natural hazard andextensive damages. Right after the disaster, emergency issues (preparedness) to better copecitizens, social media and citizens ournalism with risks.platforms (e.g. youreporter.it) played a unique rolein producing information and documenting the REFERENCESevents. They became the main informations -Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, 2011. Disaster Relief 2.0.source fornational media (e.g.TV, radio, online Washington, D.C. and Berkshire, UK: UN Foundation &newspaper) as this information was in real time Vodafone Found.Technology Partnership.and from the field. On the other end, the -Goodchild, M.F., 2007. 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