Key Seismic Vulnerability Factors for Low-Income Housing: The Case of District 3, Sari City

Document Type : علمی - پژوهشی


1 Professor, Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning, Shahid Beheshti University

2 PhD Candidate, Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning, Shahid Beheshti University


Seismic vulnerability analyses are essential for pre-disaster mitigation planning as well as post-disaster reconstruction plans. This paper attempts to identify the most important aspects of housing vulnerability. By surveying expert views, an initial list of physical, social, cultural, economic and legal dimensions is developed. These dimensions are further prioritized through semi-structured interviews and field observations for District 3 of Sari City, the Capital of Mazandaran Province, north of Iran. This yields a set of ten factors as key causes of seismic vulnerability, such as people’s indifference towards earthquakes; wrong beliefs; lack of knowledge of building code requirements on part of people and builders; etc. These ten factors are categorized as: (i) awareness deficiencies; (ii) economic deficiencies; (iii) governance deficiencies; and (iv) lack of trust. This indicates the need for concentrating on social and institutional aspects of risk reduction in low-income housing.

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