Advertisement

Environment Systems and Decisions

, Volume 34, Issue 3, pp 378–382 | Cite as

Risk and resilience lessons from Venice

  • Igor LinkovEmail author
  • Cate Fox-Lent
  • Jeffrey Keisler
  • Stefano Della Sala
  • Jorg Sieweke
Perspectives

Abstract

In the history of disasters in Venice, there are implications for modern times in terms of complex systems management and emerging threats, in particular from examples of risk management and resilience achieved by the Venetian state during outbreaks of the plague. In fourteenth century Venice, risk assessment the way we practice it today would fail to provide meaningful recommendations to reduce the casualty rate of the plague epidemic because the cause and transmission of the disease was not understood. Instead, a set of systemic actions across the social, economic, and transportation networks of the city taken by officials and doctors eventually slowed and arguably stopped the spread of the disease. These latter actions are an early example of what is now considered resilience management. Resilience management improves a complex system’s ability to prepare, absorb, recover, and adapt to unexpected threats and does so by address the capabilities at a system, rather than component, level. Resilience management can be a guide to addressing current issues of population growth and rising sea level in modern day Venice and across the globe. This paper calls for integration of resilience assessment in comprehensive risk and resilience management framework.

Keywords

Resilience Emerging threats Risk management Venice 

References

  1. Council of the European Union (2013). Council conclusions on EU approach to resilience. 3241st Foreign Affairs Council meeting, Brussels, 28 May 2013Google Scholar
  2. Covello VT, Mumpower J (1985) Risk analysis and risk management: an historical perspective. Risk Anal 5:103–120. doi: 10.1111/j.1539-6924.1985.tb00159.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Executive Order 13653 (2013) Preparing the United States for the impacts of Climate Change. The White House. 1 Nov 2013Google Scholar
  4. Kaplan Stanley, John Garrick B (1981) On the quantitative definition of risk. Risk Anal 1:11–27CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Konstantinidou K, Mantadakis E, Falagas ME, Sardi T, Samonis G. (2009) Role of Venetian rule in control of plague epidemics on the Ionian Islands during 17th and 18th centuries. Emerg Infect Dis [serial on the Internet]. 2009 Jan [date cited]. http://www.cdc.gov/EID/content/15/1/39.htm
  6. Linkov I, Eisenberg DA, Bates ME, Chang D, Convertino M, Allen JH, Flynn SE, Seager TP (2013a) Measurable resilience for actionable policy. Environ Sci Technol 47:10108–10110Google Scholar
  7. Linkov I, Eisenberg DA, Plourde K, Seager TP, Allen J, Kott A (2013b) Resilience metrics for cyber systems. Environ Syst Decis 33:471–476CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Linkov I, Bridges T, Fox-Lent C, Kröger W, Levermann A, Renn O et al (2014) Changing the resilience paradigm. Nat Clim Chang 4:407–409CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. McCoy T (2014) Everything you know about the black death is wrong. The Washington post. 31 March 2014. http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2014/03/31/everything-you-know-about-the-black-death-is-wrong-say-the-bones/
  10. Park J, Seager TP, Rao PCS, Convertino M, Linkov I (2013) Contrasting risk and resilience approaches to catastrophe management in engineering systems. Risk Anal 33:356–367CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Poggioli S. (2009) “Billion-dollar floodgates might not save Venice. National Public Radio. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=112995748. 19 Sep 2009. Accessed 29 April 2013
  12. Presidential Proclamation (2013). Critical infrastructure security and resilience month. http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/10/31/presidential-proclamation-critical-infrastructure-security-and-resilienc
  13. Singh D (2014) “US$6.7 billion floodgates to protect Venice in 2014.” The United Nations office for disaster risk reduction. http://www.unisdr.org/archive/30174. Accessed 29 April 2014

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York (outside the USA) 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Igor Linkov
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Cate Fox-Lent
    • 1
  • Jeffrey Keisler
    • 3
  • Stefano Della Sala
    • 4
  • Jorg Sieweke
    • 5
  1. 1.US Army Engineer Research and Development CenterConcordUSA
  2. 2.Ca Foscari UniversityVeniceItaly
  3. 3.University of MassachusettsBostonUSA
  4. 4.Veritas S.P.AVeniceItaly
  5. 5.University of VirginiaCharlottesvilleUSA

Personalised recommendations