Taiwan Vulnerability Analysis: A Comparative Study with Japan, China, U.S.A., U.K., France, and the Netherlands

  •  Yu-Shou Su    


Taiwan has performed well economically during the past four decades. However, economic development can be profoundly hampered by natural disasters. Sustainable economic development requires environmental resilience. With 23 million people occupying only 13,974 square miles of land, Taiwan is both densely populated and highly exposed to natural disasters: 73.1% of the total population lives in vulnerable areas, and Taiwan is ranked as the country most exposed to multiple hazards (The World Bank, 2005). Storms and floods damage Taiwan frequently, with an average of six typhoons hitting Taiwan annually for the past four decades. Taiwan had the highest occurrence and highest death toll on the natural disaster density indicator (NDDI) in comparison with China, Japan, U.S.A, U.K., France, and the Netherlands from 1985 to 2014. Also, Taiwan’s economic losses during the past thirty years are estimated at $650, 000 per km². This is approximately 5 times that of the Netherlands’ $134,362 and the U.K.’s $135,292, 8 times that of the U.S.A.’s $78,186 losses, and 9 times that of France’s $70,599. Research finds that every dollar invested into disaster preparedness would save $4 to $7 dollars in post-disaster damages (Multihazard Mitigation Council, 2005; The National Academy of Sciences, 2012). Hence, promoting urban resilience policies for disaster risk reduction should become a priority in Taiwan and other Asian nations in the future. Most important is the need of a strong political commitment and leadership to initiate and implement spatial policies toward resilience.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1925-4725
  • ISSN(Online): 1925-4733
  • Started: 2011
  • Frequency: semiannual

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