Nuria Chiara Palazzi
International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction
L3. Riesgo y resiliencia en sistemas complejos y redes
Concern for the preservation of historic urban centers has become an issue of international relevance, not only because of their irreplaceable cultural value, but also because of their potential positive role for the sustainable development of countries. Several disasters have shown that historic centers are particularly vulnerable to natural and anthropogenic hazards. The constructive characteristics of buildings and the urban morphology in which they are inserted increase the fragility of their historic fabric and vulnerability in case of disasters. In this context, a comprehensive understanding of vulnerabilities of historic centers is an essential step for the definition and adoption of more effective risk reduction strategies.
dThis paper presents a fire risk assessment at the urban scale, using the Fire Risk Index (FRI) method. The selected case study corresponds to the historic center of Yungay, located in Santiago de Chile. The case study is particularly relevant because of the high presence of historic heritage buildings and because between 2016 and 2021 it has been the scene of 21 structural fires, causing irreparable human and heritage losses.
Through the adaptation of the methodology to Chilean fire regulations and urban code, 443 unreinforced masonry buildings were evaluated. Finally, fire risk factors for the ignition, propagation, evacuation and combat phases were identified and mapped through the GIS tool. The results represent a valuable step towards the identification of large-scale risks in Chilean and Latin American historic urban centers, as well as providing the basis for the definition of risk mitigation strategies by decision-makers.