A Planning Support System for Terror-Resistant Urban Communities

Geotechnologies and the Environment, 1, Volume 2, Geospatial Techniques in Urban Hazard and Disaster Analysis, Part 5, Pages 431-445

Xinhao Wang, Joshua S. Belhadj and Heng Wei

“The shocking terrorist attacks that took place in New York (2001) and London (2005) have raised serious concerns about the safety of cities and the need for identifying potential threats and preparing preventive measures. There is a gap in the literature, where on the one hand, planning for terror is discussed at the federal level (large scope), and on the other hand, at a site-specific level (small scope). The fact is that there is very little planning research at the urban community level (medium scope). The research presented here aims to start to fill this gap by developing a Community Evacuation Planning Support System (CE-PSS) to aid urban communities identify likely community terror targets and shelters.The CE-PSS was developed using ArcGIS 9.2 and two extensions – ESRI’s Network Analyst and Placeways’ CommunityViz. By comparing the capacity and location of potential targets with that of potential shelters, shortcomings in a community’s readiness for terror attacks can be detected. With such knowledge, planners, citizens, and community leaders can address these issues in revising their comprehensive plans. As planners are charged with paying special attention to the long-term and interrelated implications of their decisions, preparing for possible terror attack is an essential consideration in today’s planning paradigm.”

GIS-based Rare Events Logistic Regression for Landslide-susceptibility Mapping of Lianyungang, China

Environmental Earth Sciences, 2011, Volume 62, Number 1, Pages 139-149

Shibiao Bai, Guonian Lü, Jian Wang, Pinggen Zhou and Liang Ding

“Landslides have had a huge effect on human life, the environment and local economic development, and therefore they need to be well understood. In this study, we presented an approach for the analysis and modeling of landslide data using rare events logistic regression and applied the approach to an area in Lianyungang, China. Digital orthophotomaps, digital elevation models of the region, geological maps and different GIS layers including settlement, road net and rivers were collected and applied in the analysis. Landslides were identified by monoscopic manual interpretation and validated during the field investigation. To validate the quality of mapping, the data from the study area were divided into a training set and validation set. The result map showed that 4.26% of the study area was identified as having very high susceptibility to landslides, whereas the others were classified as having very low susceptibility (47.2%), low susceptibility (22.21%), medium susceptibility (14.39%) and high susceptibility (11.93%). The quality of the landslide-susceptibility map produced in this paper was validated, and it can be used for planning protective and mitigation measures. The landslide-susceptibility map is a fundamental part of the Lianyungang city landslide risk assessment.”

A Geospatial Analysis of the Effects of Aviation Gasoline on Childhood Blood Lead Levels

Environmental Health PerspectivesEnvironmental Health Perspectives, published online 13 July 2011

Marie Lynn Miranda, Rebecca Anthopolos, and Douglas Hastings

“Background: Aviation gasoline, commonly referred to as avgas, is a leaded fuel used in small aircraft. Recent concern about the effects of lead emissions from planes has motivated the EPA to consider regulating leaded avgas.

“Objective: This study investigates the relationship between lead from avgas and blood lead levels in children living in six counties in North Carolina.

Illustration of airports buffered at distances of 500 m, 1000 m, 1500 m, and 2000 m in Wake County, North Carolina, plotted along with a jittered representation of the residential addresses of the children screened for blood lead.

“Methods: We used Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to approximate areas surrounding airports in which lead from avgas may be present in elevated concentrations in air and may also be deposited to soil. We then used regression analysis to examine the relationship between residential proximity to airports and NC blood lead surveillance data in children aged 9 months to 7 years while controlling for factors including age of housing, socioeconomic characteristics, and seasonality.

“Results: Our results suggest that children living within 500 m of an airport at which planes use leaded avgas have higher blood lead levels than other children. This apparent effect of avgas on blood lead levels was evident among children living within 1000 m of airports. The estimated effect on blood lead levels exhibited a monotonically decreasing dose-response pattern, with the largest impact on children living within 500 m.

“Conclusions: We estimated a significant association between potential exposure to lead emissions from aviation gasoline and blood lead levels in children. While the estimated increase was not especially large, the results of this study are nonetheless directly relevant to the policy debate surrounding the regulation of leaded avgas.”

[via All Points Blog]