An analysis of social vulnerability in a multi-hazard urban context for improving disaster risk reduction policies: The case of Sancaktepe, İstanbul

Mehmet Kalaycioglu, Sibel Kalaycıoğlu, Kezban Çelik, Ryerson B Christie, Maria E Filippi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Despite concerted calls over the past 20 years to ensure that urban development is undertaken in a manner that reduces disaster risk, urban planning often remains myopically focused on the built environment, seeing building codes, and land-use planning, as the most effective mechanisms of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR). While these are clearly crucial elements of planning for Tomorrow's Cities, they are only a part of an effective strategy.

This article makes the fundamental assertion that DRR policies addressing urban spaces must strive to redress drivers of social vulnerability. This requires an understanding of the complex interactions of forms of marginalization within the local contexts, and how these have been shaped by the broader urban planning and DRR planning environment. A qualitative research method is employed in this study to assist the development of Tomorrow's Cities Decision Support Environment (TCDSE) that facilitates co-production for risk-informed decision-making on future pro-poor urban development in the context of natural hazards. The research study involved semi-structured interviews to obtain an in-depth account of social vulnerability in Sancaktepe, İstanbul. The narratives of the people draw upon different socio-demographic, and socio-economic vulnerabilities besides vulnerabilities due to urban renewal processes which underestimate pro-poor policies in İstanbul. Drawing on the narratives of interviewees, we then highlight the added value of contextualized and (inter)subjective qualitative interpretations. In conclusion, we argue how disaster risk-informed decision-making processes can be more progressive to ensure and serve in reducing vulnerabilities through our qualitative understanding as a voice of the community. This study is completed in İstanbul, within the Tomorrow's Cities Hub.
Original languageEnglish
Article number103679
JournalInternational Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction
Early online date1 Jun 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
All of the participants suggested that DRR is best achieved by urban transformation/renewal processes through new policies and with more economic support for the residents. This is central to their aspirations to have a resilient city. The economic support demanded is mainly financial support for house renewal by the house landowners and rental support for the tenants. The emphasis on urban renewal and the desired changes to urban policy demonstrates that the broader community is well aware of the legal context of urban planning and DRR.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors


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