Dr. Chang is a professor at the University of British Columbia, Canada, with the School of Community and Regional Planning (SCARP) and the Institute for Resources, Environment, and Sustainability (IRES). She held a Canada Research Chair in Disaster Management and Urban Sustainability (Tier 2) from 2004 to 2013. Dr. Chang has published extensively on the socio-economic impact of natural disasters, modeling disaster losses, urban risk dynamics, critical infrastructure systems and interdependencies, economic evaluation of disaster mitigations, and disaster recovery. She has served on the U.S. National Research Council’s Committee on Disaster Research in the Social Sciences and its Committee on Earthquake Resilience – Research, Implementation, and Outreach. She presently serves on the Research Management Committee of the Marine Environmental Observation Prediction and Response (MEOPAR) Network of Centres of Excellence (NCE). Her current research focuses on planning for multi-hazard risks faced by coastal communities.
Keynote: Developing data-driven typologies of risk for resilience
This presentation focuses on a promising and under-explored approach to putting data-driven approaches at the center of disaster mitigation, management, and resilience: developing data-driven typologies of risk. I argue that while disaster risk for any city or community is multi-faceted, locally conditioned, dynamic, and in many ways unique, there are also many commonalities that can and should be systematically explored to identify common risk patterns. Empirical typologies are not new in the hazards and disasters field; for example, some researchers have developed typologies of post-disaster recovery trajectories. I argue, however, that there remains a gap in connecting patterns of risk to resilience-building objectives. This approach requires analytical approaches that are designed not only to describe risk but more deliberately to contribute to knowledge-sharing, learning, decision-making, and action. Three illustrative examples from the U.S. and Canada are presented that develop data-driven typologies to support resilience-building for coastal communities at risk of tsunamis and coastal flooding associated with sea-level rise. The presentation concludes by recognizing limitations, raising possibilities, and proposing a research agenda for the use of data-driven typologies of risk in disaster research and practice.