Assessment of physical-social resilience against earthquakes The Case study of Esfrain city

Document Type : Research Paper


Department of Geography and Urban Planning, Yazd University, Yazd, Iran


There are fundamental and dramatic changes in the attitude towards natural hazards in the world today so that the prevailing view has changed from focusing solely on reducing vulnerability to increasing resilience. The purpose of this study is to assess and evaluate the physical and social resilience of the neighborhoods of Esfarayen against natural disasters (earthquakes). Research results are applied in terms of descriptive-analytical purpose and application. Library resources, questionnaires, and data from the Statistics Center of Iran in 2016 have been used to collect information in this research. Also, the Mabak ranking method and ARCMAP and EXCEL software have been used for data analysis. The results of the study showed that based on physical-social resilience indices, all 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12 neighborhoods that form the northwestern neighborhoods of the city have the highest resilience, and neighborhoods 18, 19, 20 and 6 in the eastern and central regions are less resilient than other neighborhoods. The results showed that Esfarayen urban neighborhoods are not in the same situation regarding indicators affecting physical-social resilience. The neighborhoods of this city are in a different situation in terms of each of these indicators. In terms of physical-social resilience, mainly the eastern areas of the city have the lowest resilience rate because they have an old residential texture and a much higher population density, which indicates spatial inequality in the city.
Extended Abstract
Today, in the world, fundamental and significant changes can be seen in the attitude towards natural hazards. What is presented today as an inclusive and planned concept for the resilience of cities and urban structures against human and natural threats is the category of resilience. In general, resilience is defined as the ability of a system, a society, to deal with, absorb, adapt, protect, and return important functions and basic structures of society when faced with risks. As the dominant view has changed from focusing only on reducing vulnerability to increasing resilience against disasters, this paradigm uses resilience to increase the capacity of ecological systems with a multidisciplinary approach and planning. So, in order to prevent the increase of vulnerabilities, it is necessary to know the level of resilience of the local community and to know to what extent the capacity of the community to stand and recover from risks when a crisis occurs. The passage of the Esfarayen fault from the northeastern edge of Esfarayen, as well as evidence such as frequent earthquakes, slope movements, river deviations and shifting of geological structures in the past years, indicate that the region is considered one of the high-risk areas during earthquakes.
Therefore, it is necessary to examine urban resilience against earthquakes to reduce vulnerability and increase the capacity of neighborhoods to resist and reduce risks against earthquakes. Moreover, it helps a city like Esfarayen to create capacities that can withstand and return to normal conditions while having resilience. Also, the lack of sufficient study and background in investigating the resilience of the city of Esfarayen indicates the need to investigate the issue of resilience in this city. Thus, in this research, an attempt has been made to investigate the physical-social resilience of the urban areas of Esfarayen against an earthquake. This research aims to measure and evaluate the physical-social resilience of the neighborhoods of Esfarayen against natural disasters (earthquakes).
In this research, urban resilience was investigated in two physical-social dimensions. In order to investigate physical resilience, first, by examining the library resources and the research background of experts in geography and urban planning, the most important indicators affecting urban physical resilience in Esfarayen have been identified. And then, it was evaluated and approved based on experts' opinions in geography and urban planning. These indicators, which include the granularity of parts, building strength, population density, residential density, permeability index, educational density, and distance to medical centers, after calculated using ArcMap software and drawing a map according to urban areas, based on the opinion of experts, were prioritized. This prioritization was done using the ANP chain analysis process.
Also, in order to investigate social resilience, the most important indicators affecting social resilience in the city of Esfarayen have been identified by examining library resources and the research background of experts in the field of geography and urban planning. And then, it was evaluated and approved based on experts' opinions in geography and urban planning. These indicators, which include the dimensions of citizens' awareness, knowledge, skills, attitudes, collective action and social participation, trust and solidarity, and education and learning, were investigated using a questionnaire tool in each of the localities. After calculating and checking the dimensions and components of resilience according to localities, the social resilience of each locality was investigated using the ANP network chain analysis process (for weighting indicators) and the Mabak method (ranking according to localities). In the last stage, the average physical-social dimensions were used to calculate the resilience of the whole city of Esfarayen, which includes physical-social resilience.
Results and discussion
Based on the results obtained in the physical resilience section, among the investigated indicators in Esfarayen, the most important indicators affecting physical resilience include building resistance indicators, residential density, population density, and segmentation, which have the highest impact factor. These are among the basic and effective indicators requiring serious attention during an earthquake in Esfarayen. Also, based on Mabak's analysis, the north, northeast, and northwest areas of the city, which include neighborhoods 1, 2, 4, 5, 8, and 9, are among the newer neighborhoods in the peripheral texture of c Esfarayen, and in terms of these physical indicators, are in a better condition. The level of building resistance in these neighborhoods is in good condition, and in terms of residential density, permeability, granularity and population density indicators, they are in good condition. Also, the results showed that the eastern neighborhoods of the city, including neighborhoods 17, 18 and 19, are in a sensitive and dangerous situation regarding physical resilience.
Based on the results obtained in the social resilience section, among the investigated indicators in Esfarayen, the most important indicators affecting social resilience include education and learning, solidarity, trust and knowledge, with the highest impact coefficient. Also, the study of social resilience showed that the most resilient urban neighborhoods of Esfarayen include neighborhoods 15, 8, 1, 5, and 9, and the least resilient neighborhoods include neighborhoods 18, 19, and 1.
Finally, all the neighborhoods were calculated based on the average resilience in physical-social dimensions, and the results showed that neighborhoods 7, 8, 9, 10 and 12 have the highest level of resilience, and the eastern neighborhoods of Esfarayen, including neighborhoods 18, 19 and 20 have the lowest degree of resilience.
In general conclusion, it can be stated that the urban neighborhoods of Esfarayen are not the same regarding physical-social resilience. Moreover, the city's eastern areas are in the low resilience category due to their physical characteristics, old building context and social characteristics, which require special attention to this area in urban planning to increase earthquake resistance.
There is no funding support.
Authors’ Contribution
Authors contributed equally to the conceptualization and writing of the article. All of the authors approved thecontent of the manuscript and agreed on all aspects of the work declaration of competing interest none.
Conflict of Interest
Authors declared no conflict of interest.
 We are grateful to all the scientific consultants of this paper.


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