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Understanding Human Behaviors in Earthquakes to Improve Safety in Built Environment: A State of the Art on Sustainable and Validated Investigation Tools

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Sustainability in Energy and Buildings 2020

Abstract

The design of resilient Built Environments (BEs) against disasters should consider human behaviors in emergency conditions as a key factor. The disaster impact on BE can lead people to be potentially exposed to additional risks because of “wrong” behaviors adoption. This aspect is mainly relevant for sudden-onset events, characterized by unpredictability and quick arising of effects. In this sense, earthquakes represent critical events. Although civil defense bodies provide behavioral guidelines to reduce the number of injuries and victims in case of such disaster, individuals generally seem to not follow such rules due to their interactions among them and with the BE. Studying and predicting behaviors in the first emergency phases (i.e., evacuation) represent the first step in developing risk-mitigating solutions and improving users’ preparedness. This work provides a literary review of sustainable technologies to this end, to detect if and how they could be considered reliable tools to inquire about human behaviors. Two main available and consolidated sources are analyzed. Videotapes of real-world events are traditionally used to develop evacuation model. Recent works introduced Virtual Reality (VR)-based activities to replicate earthquake conditions in different BEs (including stimuli like smokes, ground shaking), analyze individuals’ reactions in immersive drills, and provide a “learn-by-doing” approach to tested people. Anyway, most of these VR approaches shows simplifications of possible users’ choices. Verifications of real-world-VR environment differences in behaviors are also needed. These novel tools will sensibly speed up researches in terms of time and quality by reducing costs and ensuring replicability if this limitation will be effectively overcome.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    e.g., https://www.echr.coe.int/Documents/Handbook_data_protection_ENG.pdf (last access: 31/01/2020).

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the MIUR (the Italian Ministry of Education, University, and Research) Project BE S2ECURe—(make) Built Environment Safer in Slow and Emergency Conditions through behavioural assessed/designed Resilient solutions (Grant number: 2017LR75XK).

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Correspondence to Enrico Quagliarini .

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Quagliarini, E., Lucesoli, M., Bernardini, G. (2021). Understanding Human Behaviors in Earthquakes to Improve Safety in Built Environment: A State of the Art on Sustainable and Validated Investigation Tools. In: Littlewood, J., Howlett, R.J., Jain, L.C. (eds) Sustainability in Energy and Buildings 2020. Smart Innovation, Systems and Technologies, vol 203. Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-15-8783-2_25

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