Risk is defined as the potential economic, social and environmental consequences of hazardous events that may occur in a specified area unit and period. The evaluation of physical vulnerability and risk of buildings is the main purpose of this chapter. Nevertheless, it is shown the necessity of considering not only the expected physical damage but also the social fragility and the lack of resilience of the exposed community, that is, a holistic evaluation of risk aiming at guiding decision making. Both the vulnerability index and capacity spectrum methods for the evaluation of the physical risk are discussed herein. Both provide good results for the considered case study the urban area of Barcelona, Spain. Both methods show how a city, located in a low to moderate hazard region, which has paid no attention to the seismic performance of their buildings, has buildings with a high seismic vulnerability and a considerable seismic risk.

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Published on 01/01/2006

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