Does a multi-risk approach help in understanding urban networks? Reflections on entangled dynamics based on two French cities and a Turkish metropolis

By Cassandre Rey-Thibault, Youenn Gourain, Valérie November

The Covid-19 global pandemic powerfully demonstrated the key role networks play during disasters, as both vectors for the propagation of outbreaks and as support for prevention measures. This article links urban networks with a combined approach to risks, which we will call multi-risk approaches. In particular, it aims to examine the interrelations between risk dynamics and urban network dynamics based on three urban systems in which multi-hazard practices and issues emerge: the French cities of Nantes and Le Havre, and the Turkish metropolis of Istanbul. The exploratory analysis highlights three notable findings: firstly, that crisis episodes can be excellent revelators of the multi-risk dimensions of networks; for actors, the challenge is including them in a long-term operational framework. Secondly, the multi-risk perspective reveals new and often unexpected networks of actors. Thirdly, the multi-scalarity of networks at the local level will likely allow for the creation of operational links between risk and crisis, and between risk prevention and crisis management more generally. We therefore conclude that the hybridization of network dynamics with those of risks reveals the existence of “entangled” risks that merit further exploration.

  • Socio-technical approaches
  • local actors
  • crises
  • multi-risk practices
  • urban networks
  • entangled risks
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