IRDR SC Member Jörn Birkmann to speak on World Risk Index project in New York

IRDR SC member and  Director of the  Institute for Spatial Planning and Regional Development (University of Stuttgart) Jörn Birkmann will speak on global risk patterns and World Risk Index project in New York on 29  January 2015 within a High Level Event organized by the Ambassador of Germany and Indonesia to the United Nations.


The World Risk Index 2014 (WRI 2014) as part of the World Risk Report 2014 (WRR 2014), determines the risk of becoming a victim of a disaster as a result of a natural hazard (e.g. floods, hurricanes, earthquakes etc.) for 171 countries. This year’s special focus was on “Cities as an area of risk”. What influence does urbanisation have on societal vulnerability to natural hazards? For the first time, 140 countries were also analyzed for the risk their urban populations face, rankings were based on 21 indicators, including share of urban population living in slums, urban literacy rate and the percentage of female workers in urban areas.

The 2014 World Risk Report (WRR 2014) published by UNU-EHS and the Alliance Development Works/Bündnis Entwicklung Hilft (BEH) systematically considers a country’s vulnerability, and its exposure to natural hazards to determine a ranking of countries around the world based on their disaster risk. The 2014 index covered only 171 instead of the 173 countries evaluated in previous years because new environmental data was integrated into the process that was not available for Sao Tome and Principe. A total of 21 of the 28 indicators were updated. Following a modular approach, the WorldRiskIndex therefore differentiates disaster risk into the four components of hazard exposure, susceptibility, lack of short-term coping capacity and lack of long-term adaptive capacity.

Within the High Level Event, Dr. Jörn Birkmann will also participate in the panel discussion with Mr. Purnomo A. Chandra, Bureau Member Habitat (III) (tbc), Ms. Yamina Djacta, Director New York Office UN-Habitat (tbc), and Mr. Peter Mucke, CEO “Alliance Development Works”, co-author of World Risk Report.

The report can be downloaded under the following link:

Related News: Presentation of the WorldRiskIndex with a special focus on Urban Areas in New York