Wharton GIS Lab
Welcome to the Wharton GIS Lab of the University of Pennsylvania!
The mission of the Wharton GIS Lab is to be a center for research and learning in the applications of spatial knowledge. Our focus is on the study and research of geographic information systems (GIS) applications to aid in decision making for businesses and communities. The lab also is in partnership with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and collaborates with USGS in supporting SILUS.
Richard Bernknopf & Paul Amos | Download the PDF
This paper discusses the impact of disaster on community and regional
housing and the ability for people, communities, and regions to recover from the damages.
Using an earthquake scenario for southern California and U.S. Census income data, a risk concentration index is developed to help quantify the costs and benefits of natural hazard mitigation. Application of the regional risk indicator is demonstrated in Los Angeles County. The simulated earthquake damages showed a statistically significant risk concentration in census tracts with large numbers of residents of lower socioeconomic status living in multi-family housing and mobile homes. In an example of an application of a great earthquake scenario compares the net benefits of a voluntary housing mitigation program with a spatially explicit mitigation program with economic incentives in census tracts meeting specific damage and income thresholds. Although the analysis is a scenario based on simulation, the results and potential outcomes are consistent with recent disasters such as Hurricane Katrina.