The geographical dimension of urban risk in Caracas

Abstract : Basically, risks are considered as a combination of hazard and vulnerability at the same place.
Many one-hazard oriented studies tell us about risks of flood or risks of riots... in a specific place.
But inside a complex socio-spatial system, what do risk, uncertainty or unsafe conditions mean for public authorities, institutions, inhabitants?
What can a geographical approach tell us about urban risk?
In which way the spatial dimension can show us things about this social construct the risk is?
I- Construction of tangible aspects
- Elements of vulnerability
- Elements of hazard
- The geographical context of urban risk : “geography is Time in Space”
Both situations of risk and urban system are physically constructed, but the combination of hazards and vulnerability is not enough to understand the different aspects of urban risk in Caracas :
Hazards can threaten both poor and rich sectors
Some situations are socially identified as urban risks
Society deals with some kind of risks...
Why these differences? What can tell us the evolution of urban risk? How can we see the social-construct aspects of urban risks?
II- The spatial dimension of society – environment relationship
- Risk and public authority through Time
- Modernization and development
- International discourse and “global turn”
Urban risks are also socially constructed.
The different situations of urban risks correspond to geographical “moments” as regards tangible and social-construct elements. Tangible aspects mean different things according to ideological or social frameworks. Once again, urban risk can not be reduced to a combination of hazard and vulnerability.
What is identified as a “urban risk” for social common sense today tells us a lot about social relations and the everyday life of inhabitants in Caracas
III- “Risk in the city” : a complex object to investigate spatial dimension of urban society
- How do public authority take urban risk into account?
- How do hegemonic discourses (re)present urban risk?
- Consequences on spatial dimension of society
The geographical approach of urban risk has to deal with:
Geometrical aspects
Both social and ideological aspects
Ontological aspects
Political aspects
Economical aspects...
Document type :
Conference papers
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Contributor : Julien Rebotier <>
Submitted on : Monday, June 23, 2008 - 10:17:46 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, September 5, 2019 - 12:54:01 PM


  • HAL Id : halshs-00289893, version 1



Julien Rebotier. The geographical dimension of urban risk in Caracas. Geographic theory and analysis (UMass), Dec 2007, Amherst, United States. ⟨halshs-00289893⟩



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