Recent events have sadly shown how the Built Environment (BE), defined as a network of buildings, infrastructures and open spaces, and its users are more and more prone to slow events, usually referred as SLow-Onset Disasters (SLOD), and emergency events, usually referred as SUdden-Onset Disasters (SUOD), showing very poor resilience.

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Current poor BE resilience usually depends on the fact that:

  • risk mitigation/prevention strategies for various SUOD only focus on the building, while open spaces near and between buildings are normally excluded in such strategies;

  • interactions between buildings and surrounding areas for risk reduction seem to be ignored, although they could lead to unpredictable critical safety conditions for urban areas (i.e. uncontrolled car parking orinaccessible streets may make unsuitable the nearby open areas);

  • risk mitigation/prevention strategies do not generally consider impacts on human response and users’ behaviors;

  • risk increasing conditions such as crowding and users’ typologies are often ignored;

  • causes and effects of SUOD/SLOD combination are usually neglected;

  • there is an inadequate attention to training, information and risk education.


Moreover, for SLOD with a variable intensity over time (i.e. air pollution), risk reduction strategies marginally consider the potential of BE as a resilience-increasing element (i.e. typical strategies adopted to limit pollution are: vehicle stops, restriction of cars circulation, reduction of heating hours).

Overview of the project

BE S2ECURE wants to fill the previous gaps by improving the integration between processes of knowledge, evaluation and design of BE in case of risks due to SUOD/SLOD.
This way, BE S2ECURe will develop methods, tools and guidelines to assess BE resilience and proposes effective solutions aimed at increasing resilience and safety of BE and hosted users, improving citizens’ disaster risk perception. BE S2ECURe will focus on building-infrastructure-open space interfaces since they can be affected by significant risk-increasing conditions (i.e. crowding) and have a prior role in determining the resilience of BE and their users.
​Due to recent events and following current and forthcoming EU H2020 calls, BE S2ECURE will be focused on earthquake and terrorist acts (SUOD) and air pollution and heat wave (SLOD), but its methodology will be easily extended to other disasters. Risk-increasing factors, such as crowding effects and users’ typologies (i.e. gender, age), will be taken into account.
A novel holistic method, using an innovative cross-hazards and user-behavior centered approach, will be proposed and a BE multi-disasters resilience metric will be delivered.

Each disaster will be investigated according to a users’ risk perception approach, which directly considers behavioral analysis. Building Environment Typologies (BETs) will be first defined according to SUOD/SLOD affecting conditions. Tools and methods for BETs representation in extensive models (BIM based) and fast models (VR/AR oriented) will be developed to permit case studies implementation.
The BIM methodology will permit to collect such data in informed models, in order to implement risk parameters and effective BE scenario modifications to be set in the VR representation. Then, such models will be combined with users’ behaviors representation, modifying existing simulators already developed by the UNIVPM (which will be the Principal Investigator), so as to define assessment tools. Then simulation-oriented tools will be used to: 

  • evidence main emergency criticisms (i.e. due to behavioral tasks) and produce risk combined maps;

  • propose the related risk-mitigation strategies; 

  • evaluate the effectiveness of such strategies.


Quantitative analysis through Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) will be performed on each disaster to determine the specific risk conditions. Then, KPIs will be combined to obtain a unique metric for BE resilience, devoted to understand human safety level and strategies effectiveness by combining SUOD and SLOD. Comparisons of scenarios and solutions will finally lead to define operative guidelines for a resilient BE. The method will be then verified using real case studies and virtual reality training tests. Redundancy criteria will be adopted, thus safety-increasing strategies will be allocated to different elements composing the and into the BE to guarantee that at least one of them will be surely effective.

Results and related dissemination activities will increase risk awareness and preparedness at different levels: users/community (activate right actions), professionals (building scale emergency planning), public administration practitioners (large scale emergency planning).


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