After Mexico: earthquakes and resilient cities Building Research & Information

As the rescue efforts in Mexico come to an end, thoughts now inevitably turn to how the city fared in comparison to the devastating earthquake over 30 years ago. While both loss of life and damage to the city was thankfully considerably less, questions remain as to how resilient the infrastructure in Mexico City is.

“Tighter building codes, better construction materials and a robust public awareness surely played a role in limiting the carnage this time around. Fewer than 300 people died and about 40 buildings collapsed, while nearly 4,000 buildings were declared severely damaged and are likely to be uninhabitable,”

reports the New York Times.

The article also goes on to say, however, that:

“What spared this metropolitan area of 21 million was, at least in part, luck…In a 2016 study of a random sample of 150 buildings constructed after 2004, when the new codes were adopted, Mr. Reinoso found that many failed to meet city standards. In many cases, the buildings reviewed did not even have enough necessary paperwork to conduct a full assessment.

As it often goes in Mexico, it is not the law that is problematic, but rather the implementation.”

The New York Times refers to a study published in Building Research & Information. In fact, this journal has produced many articles around resilient cities, public policy and regulation that are relevant to the current debate, resurfaced by the Mexico earthquake.

With that in mind, we’ve pulled together this collection in the hope of contributing leading scholarship that can help cities heal, learn, and become better prepared against future earthquakes.

In light of Mexico: earthquakes and resilient cities

Explore this special collection of articles from Building Research & Information: