Assessment of social vulnerability using geographic information systems: Pendik, Istanbul case study

Thesis Type: Postgraduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Orta Doğu Teknik Üniversitesi, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Civil Engineering, Turkey

Approval Date: 2003




Natural hazards are the reality of today̕s world, which considerably affect people̕s living conditions. As they cannot be prevented, the basic precautions should be taken before the occurrence to protect people. At this point, the preparedness for any threat is really important, which does decrease destructive effects of the hazard for communities and shorten recovery interventions. In terms of preparedness, identification of vulnerable people in the community gives an important contribution for better planning in disaster management. In this respect, this thesis aims to develop a methodology in order to define vulnerable groups in terms of their social conditions for any possible hazard, with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology. Moreover, the thesis aims to find out an interrelation between hazards and vulnerability, to build awareness about identification of socially vulnerable groups in the pre- and post-disaster planning. A case study area is selected in earthquake-prone Pendik, Istanbul, in order to find the contribution of the assessment. A study is carried out to describe social vulnerability levels in the study area using GIS. Criterion standardization, weighting and combining are accomplished by multi criteria evaluation methods. These calculations are supported with five explorative spatial data analyses to understand global trends and spatial interactions of the study data. The objectivity of the assessment and the complicated structure of the study data are also discussed. The main outcomes of the methodology and its applications in the case study area show that, the southeast part of Pendik is socially vulnerable to any possible hazard.