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 journalArticle

29 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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