The Northridge Earthquake: Vulnerability and Disaster

By Robert Bolin; Lois Stanford | Go to book overview

3

SITUATING THE NORTHRIDGE EARTHQUAKE

A vulnerability approach to disaster seeks the roots of disaster in the political and economic factors that shape material life and landscapes of communities. Our discussion of the Northridge disaster begins with the larger contexts of California and the Los Angeles region, examining the historical-geographical factors that have produced its contemporary landscapes. This chapter provides context at three levels; first, by briefly examining the history of California’s urban development, next, by tracing the evolution of policies about earthquake hazards and their effects on social protection, and last in an overview of events associated specifically with the Northridge earthquake. As we move among these different levels of understanding, the interplay of private interests and public policies emerges as a theme in risk and vulnerability as social products.

We begin by discussing the unlikely urban development of the seismically active deserts and arid foothills of Southern California into the geographically most expansive metropolitan area in the United States. The urbanization process is the result of extensive land speculation and real estate development driven by private capital but facilitated by large public expenditures to provide water. We next review how the earthquake risks entailed by this space-consuming developmental trajectory became the subject of federal and state hazard mitigation policies that are today very much part of the political organization of hazard management in California. Last, we begin to examine the general features of the Northridge disaster, reviewing both the patterns of losses and the organized responses to it. We develop our understanding of the disaster by conceptualizing it as a product of the history of the region, the nature of social protection in place, and the physical particularities of its seismic hazards.


HISTORICAL CONTOURS OF DISASTERS AND DEVELOPMENT IN CALIFORNIA

California’s earthquake risk was produced by Anglo-European settlement and subsequent large-scale urbanization. Rapid population growth in its two primary urban centers, San Francisco and Los Angeles, has situated more than half the state’s thirty million residents in areas of high seismic activity (Bolt 1993). Population growth and urbanization in both metropolitan areas, in turn, have been dependent on the acquisition and development of water supplies for domestic and commercial uses. In this section we trace the development of Los Angeles, from a tiny pueblo of a few hundred people in 1781 to a late twentieth-century postmodern megalopolis.

-64-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Northridge Earthquake: Vulnerability and Disaster
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Contents vii
  • Contents viii
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgements xi
  • 1 - A Common Disaster 1
  • 2 - Perspectives on Disasters 27
  • 3 - Situating the Northridge Earthquake 64
  • 4 - Situating the Communities and the Research 105
  • 5 - Responding to Northridge 130
  • 6 - Restructuring After Northridge 185
  • Notes 217
  • 7 - Vulnerability, Sustainability, and Social Change 218
  • References 238
  • Name Index 256
  • Subject Index 261
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 272

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.