chapter  5
16 Pages

Environmental hazards

The urban environment is a complex social, economic and biophysical system produced by the interaction between a man-made fabric and the physical characteristics of the landscape. In this chapter particular attention is focused on the hazards of urban living contingent upon the physical geography of the city. These vary with the site and location of a city but can include a host of events such as hurricanes (Baker and Patton 1974), flooding (Platt 1982), wind storms (Miller et al. 1974), drought (Heathcote 1974), earthquake (Terwindt 1983), snow (Earney and Knowles 1974), landslides (Fleming et al. 1979) and ground subsidence (Holzer and Johnston 1985), as well as pollution in its various forms. Here we will examine the incidence of and human response to eight specific urban hazards.