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Density and disasters: economics of urban hazard risk, Volume 1
Author: Lall, Somik V.; Deichmann, Uwe; Country:World;
Date Stored:2009/12/29Document Date:2009/12/01
Document Type:Policy Research Working PaperSubTopics:Banks & Banking Reform; Environmental Economics & Policies; Hazard Risk Management; Urban Housing; Labor Policies
Language:EnglishRegion:The World Region
Report Number:WPS5161Collection Title:Policy Research working paper ; no. WPS 5161
Volume No:1  

Summary: Today, 370 million people live in cities in earthquake prone areas and 310 million in cities with high probability of tropical cyclones. By 2050, these numbers are likely to more than double. Mortality risk therefore is highly concentrated in many of the world’s cities and economic risk even more so. This paper discusses what sets hazard risk in urban areas apart, provides estimates of valuation of hazard risk, and discusses implications for individual mitigation and public policy. The main conclusions are that urban agglomeration economies change the cost-benefit calculation of hazard mitigation, that good hazard management is first and foremost good general urban management, and that the public sector must perform better in generating and disseminating credible information on hazard risk in cities.

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