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Seismic Cities Network


Half of the world population is now dominated by people living in urban. Therefore, natural hazards (earthquake, flood, landslide, typhoon) to cities would certainly increase. In particular, a large number of metropolitan cities are located within proximity or close to active seismic faults. Megacities such as Manila, Tokyo, Osaka, Los Angeles, Jakarta and Surabaya are the examples of these cities. Increasing the mitigation, preparedness and contingency planning of the authorities, volunteers and communities of cities to earthquake will be important. According to Paton et al (2008), the collaboration between individuals, communities and institutions help to increase the community resilience to disasters, including earthquake. Thus, promoting resilience in the face of natural disasters, specifically seismic shocks, is the aim.

However, resilience is a complex construct and is defined differently in the context of individuals, families, organizations, societies, and cultures (Southwick et al., 2014). In an effort to define and enhance resilience, an interdisciplinary approach could prove relevant. Drawing on a varied understanding and definition of resilience across multiple field of disciplines, the concept of resilience, in this case resilience to seismic shocks, could be defined and enhanced.

The beginning of seismic city idea originates from Seismic Cities project. Seismic Cities is an interdisciplinary GCRF-funded research collaboration that was first initiated between the UK and Chile from January 2017 to December 2017. The project has the long-term aim of addressing the sustainable cities and communities challenge in urban and nearby rural regions prone to earthquake hazards by increasing resilience to such seismic shocks. The concept builds upon the Cities on Volcanoes framework promoting multidisciplinary applied research & linking physical scientists with city authorities, emergency managers, academics, artists & local communities. By bringing together diverse actors, the approach has the potential to be a powerful intervention to strengthen preparedness efforts in developing nations.

Seismic Cities conducted research and reimagined artistic interpretations of the San Ramon fault in Santiago, Chile. The compiled results fell under the Seismic Cities Santiago umbrella. The same research findings and artistic approach are combined with new data and artworks generated in Bandung, Indonesia to raise awareness about the Lembang Fault, which has been recently recognized as active and capable of having major earthquakes. The research attempts to explore resilience and preparedness in urban and rural communities at risk from the Lembang fault in Bandung through storytelling & linking this to the physical environment with sensory-mapping & embedding stories within an accessible online digital media archive. The reimagined artworks that are generated responds to the local communities and site visits of locations along the new fault line and in Bandung city.

RDI, as part of the Seismic Cities Network, aims to expand and improve the network of Seismic Cities to regions prone to earthquakes and promote resilience across disciplines by drawing on our extensive local and national connections with government departments, universities, and academics. The network of researchers in universities throughout Indonesia represents the future for disaster risk reduction research and practice. This network is vital not only in the variety of discipline-based skills that can be contributed to our research but also many of the network members have already worked on earthquake risk in Bandung. In addition, they contribute expertise in areas such as trauma counselling and resilience as well as disaster risk reduction knowledge from geography and geology.