Multidimensional hazards, vulnerabilities, and perceived risks regarding climate change and Covid-19 at the city level: An empirical study from Haifa, Israel

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Climate hazards and vulnerabilities in cities are multidimensional. Natural features determine heat, floods and wildfires. Social features determine vulnerability and resilience. This study examined multidimensional hazards, vulnerabilities, and resilience in Haifa, a socially diverse Mediterranean city. Spatial indices of heatwaves, floods, wildfires and social vulnerability were developed by Geographic Information Systems geoprocessing functions using Digital Elevation Model, land use and welfare data. An online survey assessing risk perceptions, sense of danger and community resilience was distributed to residents (N = 549), and geocoded using street identification. The results show that climate hazards and vulnerabilities vary within the city and reflect its geographical and social characteristics: lower regions are prone to heat and floods and elevated neighborhoods to wildfires. All zones and segments of the population are in certain danger, but climate hazards and vulnerabilities are heterogeneous and unequally distributed, with certain neighborhoods more exposed. The downtown area is most vulnerable in social features, yet its residents have higher resilience perceptions compared to uptown, where the main hazard is wildfires and the main vulnerability is aging. Implications for urban climate policy: local stressors should be mitigated at the neighborhood level by investing in suitable infrastructure and fostering community resilience.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101146
JournalUrban Climate
StatePublished - May 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Knowledge and Research Center for Emergency Readiness, University of Haifa . We thank Tamar Zohar, Tom Avikasis and Vitaly Ostiatinski for their excellent research assistance. We thank Prof. Deborah Shmueli and Dr. Micahl Ben-Gal from the University of Haifa for their kind assistance and support.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors


  • Cities
  • Climate change
  • Community resilience
  • Extreme heat
  • Floods
  • Hazards
  • Perceived risk
  • Resilience
  • Sense of danger
  • Vulnerability
  • Wildfires

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Urban Studies
  • Atmospheric Science


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