Investigating the Resilience of Accessibility to Emergency and Lifesaving Facilities under Natural Hazards

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Investigating the Resilience of Accessibility to Emergency  and Lifesaving Facilities under Natural Hazards


Studying accessibility, including the resilience of city transportation networks, is critical to understand how these networks influence individuals’ mobility and lives. This study developed an analytical research framework to examine the resilience of accessibility to emergency and lifesaving facilities under the threats of natural hazards such as earthquakes and wildfires. With a cumulative-opportunity approach, the authors measured accessibility by counting emergency and lifesaving facilities (including parks, schools, hospitals, roads, and fire stations) that can be reached by driving at the census tract level in San Fernando Valley, CA. With the calculated accessibility, the authors run simulations to collect data showing what would happen if an area were affected by a selected disaster. They then used statistical analysis to identify those areas where accessibility is significantly reduced compared to the original status. A normalized difference accessibility index (NDAI) was further created to suggest plans and strategies to help those vulnerable areas through adding facilities/services or improving transportation infrastructure.



Dr. Chih-Hao Wang is an Associate Professor of the Department of Geography and City & Regional Planning at California State University, Fresno, where he has taught since 2014. He received his PhD (2013) and Master’s (2010) degrees in City and Regional Planning from The Ohio State University.Dr. Wang’s research focuses on environmental planning from the perspective of natural hazard mitigation. His research interests also include the application of spatial statistics to the analysis of spatial or social interactions in the earthquake process, as well as water management, transportation planning, and community development. His research has been published in journals in environmental planning, transportation, and geography.


Dr. Na Chen is an Associate Professor in the School of Government at the Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, China. She received her BA in Public Policy (2008) from Sun Yat-sen University, her MA in Community Planning and Public Administration (2011) from Auburn University, AL, and her PhD in City and Regional Planning (2016) from The Ohio State University. She then worked as a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Technology Management at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her research interests include transportation planning, activity-based travel behavior modeling, accessibility, activity space, transportation equity, land-use modeling, spatial econometrics, and Geographic Information System applications for urban planning. Based on her expertise in her areas of interest, Dr. Chen has published many papers in peer-reviewed journals and presented at international conferences.

May 2022
Natural hazards
Hotspot analysis
Statistical comparison



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