A proposed assessment index for climate change-related risk for cultural heritage protection in Newcastle (Australia)

Giuseppe Forino, Jamie MacKee, Jason von Meding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


Worldwide, climate change is one of the main factors exacerbating the effects of hazards or generating additional risk. Investigation is required to understand climate change-related risks for all components of human systems, including cultural heritage. Accordingly, this paper aims to present a new risk assessment index for cultural heritage, referred to as the Cultural Heritage Risk Index (CHRI). The paper applies a desk-based review of the existing literature on climate change-related risks for cultural heritage and of multi-level policy and planning documents of cultural heritage management in Australia. The paper then presents the CHRI and describes its attributes based upon the formalisation of risk as a function of hazard, exposure and vulnerability. CHRI is applied to a unique asset of cultural heritage in Newcastle (Australia), the Burwood Beach Wastewater Treatment Works (BBWTW). The paper shows that this asset has a moderate risk related to climate change, and that some interventions can be applied to decrease its vulnerability. The use of a new index such as CHRI allows creating a baseline for the exploration of the relations between climate change-related risks and cultural heritage. It can be an effective part of tools assessing climate change-related risk on cultural heritage in Australia and might aid in prioritising specific interventions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-248
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction
Early online date13 Sep 2016
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2016

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