Natural Hazards

, Volume 42, Issue 3, pp 481–491 | Cite as

Megacities – megarisks

  • Friedemann WenzelEmail author
  • Fouad Bendimerad
  • Ravi Sinha
Original Paper


We review the definitions, population trends, and characteristics of megacities. Characteristics of megacities are, apart from their size, their complexity in terms of administration, infrastructure, traffic, etc., and at the same time the speed of change. Vulnerabilities and risk potential are discussed using the examples of Mexico City and Mumbai. We present the experience accumulated in the 6 years work of the Earthquakes and Megacities Initiative (EMI, with more than 20 large cities around the world, mostly located in the developing world. On this background we analyze obstacles that keep megacities from developing an efficient approach towards disaster mitigation and define a strategy that might overcome these problems. The key element of this strategy is the development of a Disaster Risk Management Master Plan (DRMMP) for cities. Currently the Istanbul Earthquake Master Plan (IEMP) serves as best example for an appropriate strategy for disaster reduction in megacities.


Megacity Urbanization Vulnerability Disaster mitigation Risk management master plan 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Friedemann Wenzel
    • 1
    Email author
  • Fouad Bendimerad
    • 2
  • Ravi Sinha
    • 3
  1. 1.Geophysical InstituteKarlsruhe UniversityKarlsruheGermany
  2. 2.Risk Management Solutions, Inc.NewarkUSA
  3. 3.Department of Civil EngineeringIITMumbaiIndia

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