Integrated Assessment of Natural Hazards, Including Climate Change’s Influences, for Cultural Heritage Sites: The Case of the Historic Centre of Rethymno in Greece
de Wit, Rosmarie
Argyriou, Athanasios V.
Revez, Maria João
SourceInternational Journal of Disaster Risk Science
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Within the framework of disaster risk management, this article proposes an interdisciplinary method for the analysis of multiple natural hazards, including climate change’s influences, in the context of cultural heritage. A taxonomy of natural hazards applicable to cultural heritage was developed based on the existing theoretical and conceptual frameworks. Sudden-onset hazards, such as earthquakes and floods, and slow-onset hazards, such as wetting–drying cycles and biological contamination, were incorporated into the hazard assessment procedure. Future alteration of conditions due to climate change, such as change in heat waves’ duration, was also taken into account. The proposed hazard assessment framework was applied to the case of the Historic Centre of Rethymno, a city on the northern coast of the island of Crete in Greece, to identify, analyze, and prioritize the hazards that have the potential to cause damage to the center’s historic structures. The assessment procedure includes climate model projections, GIS spatial modeling and mapping, and finally a hazard analysis matrix to enable the sharing of a better understanding of multiple hazards with the stakeholders. The results can facilitate decision making by providing the vulnerability and risk analysis with the nature and spatial distribution of the significant hazards within the study area and its setting.