Multi-hazard risks in New York City

Yaella Depietri, Khila Dahal, Timon McPhearson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Megacities are predominantly concentrated along coastlines, making them exposed to a diverse mix of natural hazards. The assessment of climatic hazard risk to cities rarely has captured the multiple interactions that occur in complex urban systems. We present an improved method for urban multi-hazard risk assessment. We then analyze the risk of New York City as a case study to apply enhanced methods for multi-hazard risk assessment given the history of exposure to multiple types of natural hazards which overlap spatially and, in some cases, temporally in this coastal megacity. Our aim is to identify hotspots of multi-hazard risk to support the prioritization of adaptation strategies that can address multiple sources of risk to urban residents. We used socioeconomic indicators to assess vulnerabilities and risks to three climate-related hazards (i.e., heat waves, inland flooding and coastal flooding) at high spatial resolution. The analysis incorporates local experts' opinions to identify sources of multi-hazard risk and to weight indicators used in the multi-hazard risk assessment. Results demonstrate the application of multi-hazard risk assessment to a coastal megacity and show that spatial hotspots of multi-hazard risk affect similar local residential communities along the coastlines. Analyses suggest that New York City should prioritize adaptation in coastal zones and consider possible synergies and/or trade-offs to maximize impacts of adaptation and resilience interventions in the spatially overlapping areas at risk of impacts from multiple hazards.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3363-3381
Number of pages19
JournalNatural Hazards and Earth System Sciences
Issue number12
StatePublished - 21 Dec 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 BMJ Publishing Group.All right reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


Dive into the research topics of 'Multi-hazard risks in New York City'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this