With the main objective to preserve our delegates’ wellbeing, but also with the belief that the scientific community should not be stopped, WIT decided that Disaster Management 2021 should not take place as scheduled, in Rome, Italy, but take place as an online event instead.
The conference was co-organised by the Wessex Institute, UK, represented by Prof Giorgio Passerini and the University of Rome “La Sapienza”, Italy, represented by Professor Fabio Garzia, Mara Lombardi and Honorary Chairman Massimo Guarascio.
The conference, which started in The New Forest UK, in 2009, is well-established and always attracts a wide international spread of delegates. This series of conferences originated with the need for academia and practitioners to exchange knowledge and experience on the way to handle the increasing risk of natural and human-made disasters. Recent major earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, floods and other natural phenomena have resulted in huge losses in terms of human life and property destruction. A new range of human-made disasters have afflicted humanity in modern times; terrorist activities have been added to more classical disasters such as those due to the failure of industrial installations, for instance. It is important to understand the nature of these global risks to be able to develop strategies to prepare for these events, and plan effective responses in terms of disaster management and the associated human health impacts.
Opening of the Conference
The conference was opened by Prof Giorgio Passerini, University of Rome “La Sapienza”, who welcomed the delegates to the event on behalf of all Chairs.
There were a series of invited lectures on advanced topics of research and applications, as follows:
- “Reducing community vulnerability in Pacific Forum Island countries: Lessons from a Pandemic”
by Dr Vivienne Saverimuttu, Western Sydney University, Australia
- “Spatial relationship between placement of shrines and risk of flooding in low-lying areas at the Eastern Tokyo metropolitan region”
by Prof Hiroshi Gotoh, Nihon University, Japan
- “Environmental remediation and possible use of terrestrial microbial fuel cells”
by Prof Vincenzo Ferrara, University of Rome, “La Sapienza”, Italy
- “A seductive attraction of apocalyptic desire: panic, trauma news and pathogen armeggedons”
by Dr Natalie Baker, Sam Houston State University, USA
- “Building resilient coalitions: Health and medical response through COVID-19 concurrent events”
by Prof Magdalena Denham, Sam Houston State University, USA
- “The role of awareness to prevent personal disasters: Reducing the risks for from falling into Phishing by strengthening user awareness”
by Prof Roman Brandtweiner, Vienna University of Economics and Business, Austria
- “Municipal coastal socio-ecological system monitoring developments: Multi-disciplinary citizen science perspective”
by Prof Raimonds Ernsteins, University of Latvia, Latvia
The papers presented during the conference were classified under the following headings:
- Public health risk
- Socio-economic issues
- Environmental issues
- Emergency preparedness and risk mitigation
- • Disaster modelling
Q&A Live Zoom Sessions
Conference delegates were invited to participate in two Q&A Live Zoom Sessions which took place on the 11th and 12th of November. These friendly sessions were a great opportunity for participants to interact with each other and ask questions to authors about their papers.
Papers presented at this conference are published in Vol. 207 of the WIT Transactions on The Built Environment (ISSN: 1743-3509). Papers presented at the meeting are available Open Access in the eLibrary of the Wessex Institute (https://www.witpress.com/elibrary) from where they can be freely downloaded by any interested parties.
Closing of the Conference
We are very sorry that we were not able to meet our delegates in person this year.
We would like to thank the delegates for participating in the event and look forward to meeting them at the next conference in the series which is due to be reconvened in 2023.
Reducing community vulnerability in Pacific Island Forum countries: Lessons from a pandemic
Building resilient coalitions: Health and medical response through COVID-19 concurrent events
L. Upton, A. Lee & M. Denham
A "seductive attraction" of "apocalyptic desire": panic, trauma news and pathogen armeggedons
The role of awareness to prevent personal disasters: Reducing the risks for from falling into phishing by strengthening user awareness
B. Iser & R. Brandtweiner
Environmental remediation and possible use of terrestrial microbial fuel cells
G. Aimola, A. G. Gagliardi, A. Pietrelli, V. Ancona, A. Barra Caracciolo, D. Borello, V. Ferrara & P. Grenni
Municipal coastal socio-ecological system monitoring developments: Multi-disciplinary citizen science perspective
Raimonds Ernsteins, Janis Kaulins, Erika Lagzdina, Zane Steinberga & Ivars Kudrenickis
Spatial relationship between placement of shrines and risk of flooding in low-lying areas at the Eastern Tokyo metropolitan region