Natural Hazards

, Volume 53, Issue 1, pp 21–41 | Cite as

Resilience to natural hazards: a geographic perspective

  • Hongjian Zhou
  • Jing’ai Wang
  • Jinhong Wan
  • Huicong Jia
Original Paper


Resilience is increasingly used as an approach for understanding the dynamics of natural disaster systems. This article presents the origin of resilience and provides an overview of its development to date, which draws on the wide literature on ecological science, social science, social–environmental system and natural hazards. From a geographic perspective, the model of disaster resilience of “Loss–Response” of Location (DRLRL) was created and disaster resilience was defined from three dimensional mode, which focused on the spatial, temporal scale of resilience and attributes of hazard-affected bodies. A geographic approach was put forward to measure the disaster resilience, including two properties of inherent resilience and adaptive resilience and a case study was implemented in order to validate this approach. This perspective would offer greater potential in application of resilience concept, especially in the process of integrated risk management and disaster recovery.


Resilience Ecology Society Social–ecological system Geographic perspective 



This study was supported by the National Science Foundation of China (No. 40671003), the National Science Foundation of China for Distinguished Young Scholars (No. 40425008), and National “985 Project”: Public Security Policy Platform of Beijing Normal University of China. The work of two anonymous reviewers is greatly acknowledged, which significantly improved the quality of this article.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hongjian Zhou
    • 1
  • Jing’ai Wang
    • 2
    • 3
  • Jinhong Wan
    • 1
  • Huicong Jia
    • 2
  1. 1.College of Geography and Remote Sensing ScienceBeijing Normal UniversityHaidian District, BeijingChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Regional GeographyBeijing Normal UniversityBeijingChina
  3. 3.Key Laboratory of Environment Change and Natural Disaster, Ministry of Education of ChinaBeijing Normal UniversityBeijingChina

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