Sustainable Technologies in Conservation Areas: Managing Disaster Risks


Event Date: Wed, 29 September 2021

Join this online lecture about how digital infrastructures could save monuments and sites in strategic conservation areas

About this event

Managing disaster risks is vital for the conservation of the existing environment.

Disasters can come in many forms such as natural hazards (tsunami, volcanic eruptions, tornados, hurricanes, earthquakes, wildfires, avalanches, snowstorms, typhoons, flooding, and sandstorms), biological hazards (bacteria, viruses, and insects) and human hazards (terrorism, petroleum spills, and accidents from chemical products). Over the past few decades, there has been an increase in the development of creating climate-resilient cities using sustainable technologies.

At this event we’ll focus on Almazan’s current research, which analyses and identifies the patterns of the digital network to evaluate urban planning in order to determine the Strategic Development Zones that need emerging digital infrastructure in case of a disaster. Delimiting these strategic areas of study, a specific digital urban infrastructure can be created and put to test in strategic conservation areas.

The lecture will include case studies from Mexico and insights on the impacts of the pandemic on heritage sites in Mexico City.

More on the topic of the event

Creating climate-resilient cities using sustainable technologies entails an analysis of our conservation areas on three different scales: digital, urban, and architectural.

– The digital scale focuses on the networks of communication and supply, and the application of artificial intelligence in urban planning, such as data analytics, machine learning and deep learning. Using digital technology and sustainability as the main components in governmental urban planning.

– The urban scale focuses on preparing for disaster by designing digital infrastructure that can reduce response time in case of an evacuation, developing new traffic flows, and designing emergency public transportation systems and smart roads in case of a major impact.

– The architectural scale focuses on the analysis of building behaviours before, during and after the impact of a disaster. It also entails the design of emerging structures.

In order to apply the three scales, it is important to consider pre- and post-disaster phases, which can be taken into consideration for conservation areas:

1) Pre-disaster protection: This covers a wide range of activities, starting with risk assessment involving the accumulation of data and the preparation of loss estimates.

2) Post-disaster recovery: the relief period covers the first few golden hours or days after the disaster impact.

The basic forms of cities establish the initial parameters of the behaviour, projection, and response of a city in a critical phase. In the absence of these strategic areas there is a lack of urban planning in case of an emergency. With the usage of AI-based platforms data can be collected to identify patterns which can indicate risk zones. Conservation areas can become resilient with proper preparations, including a digital infrastructure that could save millions of monuments and sites.

About the speaker

Zoe Almazan is currently a full-time lecturer in building surveying and the KTP Champion in the Department of Civil Engineering, Surveying and Construction Management at Kingston University of London. She has research expertise in the analysis of buildings that have deteriorated due to natural disasters, such as earthquakes, floods, and hurricanes. Prior to joining Kingston in 2020, she worked in the construction industry as a building surveyor from 2007 to 2019, where she obtained experience in the design, construction, and the restoration of buildings of different sizes. She was the Head Leader of a competition for a governmental project aimed at finding solutions to flooding problems in the riverside of a developed community in Mexico. She also carried out independent research, modelling buildings in 3D and simulating earthquakes to see where the buildings will require structural intervention She has been an active member of ICOMOS-MEXICO since 2012 and recently became a member of ICOMOS-UK in 2020.

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