Hong Kong has the highest disasters risk in Asia - Study

Source(s): ARCADIS

ARCADIS Sustainable Cities Index 2015

Asian cities make up almost half of the global top ten cities ranked as having the highest natural disasters risk
Singapore is the only Asian city in the top-ten global cities with a low natural disasters risk
It has become important for urban planning to include natural disaster readiness
Hong Kong, 26 May 2015 – Hong Kong tops Asia’s ranks as the city with the highest natural disasters risk, according to the recently released inaugural Sustainable Cities Index from ARCADIS, the leading global natural and built asset design and consultancy firm. The Index was conducted by the Center for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) and included 50 of the world’s leading cities.

The natural disasters risk ranking measures each city’s risk through its natural disasters volume record since 1900. The disasters that met at least one of the following conditions were included: Ten or more people reported killed; one hundred or more people reportedly affected; declaration of a state of emergency; or a call for international assistance. Droughts, earthquakes, extreme temperatures, floods, mass movements, storms, volcanoes and wildfires were among the natural disasters included in the research.

Hong Kong’s natural disasters risk is mainly caused by storms, floods and wildfires. With an average annual rainfall of 2,200 millimetres, Hong Kong is one of the wettest cities within the Pacific Rim region. The geographical location of Hong Kong makes it vulnerable to tropical cyclones between May and November each year. Hence, the number of storms since 1900 in Hong Kong has been relatively high. However, the highly effective weather warning system and storm protection plans such as a drainage tunnel scheme in West Kowloon and the Northern part of Hong Kong Island put in place by the government have minimised their impact in recent years.

Graham Kean, Asia-Pacific Head of Client Solutions at ARCADIS comments: “Whilst Hong Kong has a high risk ranking, the natural disasters protection plans in placed have been highly effective to date. As Hong Kong continues to develop as a world-class business hub in Asia, it is essential to ensure that natural disasters readiness continues to be integrated into the city’s urban planning to protect government and company’s assets from potential natural disasters.”

Asia Cities Natural Disasters Risk ranking in the 2015 ARCADIS Sustainable Cities Index 2015 (from highest risk to lowest):

Overall Asia ranking - City - Overall Global ranking
1 - Hong Kong - 3
2 - Wuhan - 4
3 - Tokyo - 9
4 - Manila - 10
5 - Beijing - 11
6 - New Delhi - 15
7 - Jakarta - 16
8 - Mumbai - 24
9 - Shanghai - 26
10 - Kuala Lumpur - 27
11 - Seoul - 29
12 - Singapore - 50

Looking at the broader Asia region, Singapore is the only Asian city in the top ten global cities with a low natural disaster risk ranking. Apart from Singapore’s geographical location minimising its natural disasters risk, the Singapore government’s approach to urban planning, which includes natural disaster prevention measures, plays a crucial role in ensuring Singapore’s safety from potential natural disasters.

Asian cities make up almost half (40%) of the global top ten cities ranked as having the highest natural disasters risk in the world. Hong Kong (3rd place), Wuhan (4th), Tokyo (9th) and Manila (10th) all rank in the global top ten. The natural disasters that threaten the safety of the four cities include storms, earthquakes, floods and droughts.

Graham Kean continued: “Many Asian cities are currently considered to have a high natural disaster risk. The Sustainable Cities Index highlights areas of opportunity for governments, city leaders and organisations to develop strategies for minimising the impact of natural disasters on the city, as well as protecting its people and assets.”


For further information, contact:
Shaun Soh, PR & Communications Manager - Asia, Arcadis, +852 2263 7503, shaun.soh@arcadis.com
Charmaine Chan, FleishmanHillard, Hong Kong, +852 2586 7859, charmaine.chan@fleishman.com

Notes to Editor:
The research was conducted by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (www.cebr.com) and examines 50 cities from 31 countries ranking them across a range of indicators to estimate the sustainability of each city. The cities included within this report were selected to provide an overview of the planet’s cities, providing not only wide-ranging geographical coverage, but also a variety of levels of economic development, expectations of future growth and an assortment of sustainability challenges.

A detailed, evidence-based metric is derived to quantify each city’s performance. The headline ranking can then be divided into three broad subcategories: People, Planet and Profit. These correspond to three dimensions of sustainability - social, environmental and economic and can be described as the triple bottom line.

ARCADIS is the leading global natural and built asset design & consultancy firm working in partnership with our clients to deliver exceptional and sustainable outcomes through the application of design, consultancy, engineering, project and management services. ARCADIS differentiates through its talented and passionate people and its unique combination of capabilities covering the whole asset life cycle, its deep market sector insights and its ability to integrate health & safety and sustainability into the design and delivery of solutions across the globe. We are 28,000 people that generate more than €3 billion in revenues. We support UN-Habitat with knowledge and expertise to improve the quality of life in rapidly growing cities around the world. Please visit: www.arcadis.com

The top 10 (highest risk) and the bottom 8 (lowest risk) of the global natural disasters risk cities ranking. The ARCADIS Sustainable Cities Index 2015 full report can be viewed via the link below.

Highest Risk Lowest Risk (In no particular order)
1. Los Angeles
2. San Francisco
3. Hong Kong
4. Wuhan
5. Dallas
6. Houston
7. Buenos Aires
8. Melbourne
9. Tokyo
10. Manila

Lowest Risk (In no particular order)
· Abu Dhabi
· Amsterdam
· Birmingham
· Doha
· Dubai
· Manchester
· Rotterdam
· Singapore

Country & Region
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