Document Type : Research Paper
Assistant professor at Babol Noshirvani University of Technology
Natural hazards have always been a part of our surrounding environment and human life would be unimaginable without considering these hazards. With the development of social life, and particularly with urbanization and increasing expansion of cities, the dimensions of such incidents have become more complicated. Earthquake is one of the most important natural hazards that takes the lives of many people every year. Although definite prediction of earthquake is not still possible, high-risk areas can be identified by zoning earthquake hazard using new technologies such as GIS, and measures can be taken to deal with the critical situation of identified regions during an earthquake. Planning of temporary accommodation with the aim of crisis management and reduction of secondary damages caused by the earthquake have always been amongmajor concerns of urban planners and managers. In the past, the policy of creating temporary accommodation centers and disaster relief sites lacked a specific program, so that locating a vacant land, with no owner was the most important principle for the creation of these centers in urban areas. It is now proved that these methods lack efficiency. However, recent advances in modern technologies such as GIS have improved planning process. This kind of planning procedure takes effective parameters and criteriainto account, many of which have spatial nature. Urban resiliency is one of the most important branches of urban crisis management, thus risk assessment and risk reduction planning, including site selection for temporary accommodation (as a principle of urban resiliency),are highly essential.
Materials and methods
The study area of the present research is Babol, one of the major and central cities of Mazandaran Province. Babol is located in BabolCounty, 14 km from the Caspian Sea and 10 km from the Alborz Mountains. With a total area of approximately 32 km2 and a population of250,217 (at the2016 census), it is the second most populous city in Mazandaran province.The 600 km long Caspian faults and 680 km long Alborz faults are among the effective faults of the study area. In the present study, effective measures for selectionof temporary accommodation siteswere extracted and weighted using expert opinions specialized in structural engineering, earthquake, urban planning, crisis management, passive defense, traffic and transportation. Identified criteria included distance from the river, distance from the fault, land use, distance from installations network, access to the transit network, distance from fire stations, population density, distance from tall buildings, distance from police stations and distance from health centers. Then, using GIS analytic functions, standard maps were produced and combined to identify the best areas for temporary accommodation (after a possible earthquake) in Babol. Criteria were weighted using fuzzy analytic hierarchy process and weighted overlay method was also used to combine them.
Results and discussion
Analyzing the results indicated that only 7% of the total study area (Babol City) is appropriate for temporary accommodation. Identified areas were examined according to other temporary accommodation standards. Finally, six sites and a total of 107 hectares (less than 4% of the study area) were identified as suitable sitesfor temporary accommodation. With a very large area (37 hectares) and full access to water, electricity and gas facilities,the first site is locatednear eastern beltway of Baboland Lotus PondRecreational Complex. The second proposed site is a 11-hectarevacant arealocated in the northeastern part of Babol City, between Ramenet and Pari Kola Villages. With a total area of 22 hectares,the third proposed site is located in the south-east of Babol City and near Babol-Qa’emShahr Road. Unlike the previous three sites, the fourth proposed site is located almost inside the city. It is a vacant 5-hectarearea in the northern side of the Motamedi Martyrs’ Cemetery. The next site, also located inside the city, is Aminian Dormitory (Noushirovani University of Technology) with a total area of 4 hectares. Although the last proposed site was ranked lower than the other five sites in the final analysis, it has the highest score among available sites inwestern side of Babol river. With a total area of 28 hectares, this site is located within a short distance of Imam Khamenei Highway.
According to the international standards, per capita area for temporary accommodation is approximately 4 m2. Therefore,with a population of about 250,217,Babol needs an average space of 100 hectares for temporary accommodation. Although, the proposed space for temporary accommodation (107 hectares) in Babol almost equals the required space (100 hectares), with the present rate of population growth inBabol, increasedconstructions, and consequently, reduction of appropriate space for temporary accommodation, Babol will definitely face a shortage of suitable space for temporary accommodation of earthquake victimsin near future. Moreover, the spatial distribution of suitable sites for temporary accommodation is not reasonable, as most of the suitable sites are located in the eastern part and within the boundaries of the city. While, these sites are expected to be scattered throughout the city with an equal access for all residents.Finally, it can be concluded that temporary accommodation of earthquake victimswas not considered in urban planning of Babol, and as a result, the city does not have a suitable status regarding temporary accommodation of earthquake victims.