The role of morphological spatial indices in the suitability of urban earthquake management

Document Type : Original Article


1 University of Tehran, Faculty of Geography

2 Islamic Azad University, civil engineering faculty, south Tehran Branch, Tehran, Iran,

3 Islamic Azad University, civil engineering faculty, South Tehran Branch, Tehran, Iran

4 Department of RS-GIS, Faculty of Geographic Sciences, Kharazmi University, Tehran, Iran



Effective earthquake response is one of the main challenges of urban crisis management in earthquake-prone countries. The quality of the task will be affected by the urban structure, especially in the heterogeneous arrangement of urban components. This paper aims to introduce the spatial indices of urban structures and assess their role in earthquake response. The main contribution is the formulation of spatial indices and implementation of a GIS-based multi-criteria decision-making method to derive the suitability levels of crisis management. Therefore, first, the effective spatial indices have been specified and formulated based on the expert knowledge and literature which have been considered as ‘junction degree’, ‘street width’, ‘traffic network direction’, ‘height of buildings, and ‘shelters in place’. Then suitability levels of areas to respond to earthquakes were determined using the fuzzy-best-worst method (F-BWM). The proposed approach has been implemented in Districts 3, 6, and 7 of Tehran, the capital of Iran. The achieved results showed that the most important factors are ‘street width’ and ‘the height of buildings, while the 'direction of the roads is not as significant as the other criteria. Also, in the southern part of the study area, the suitability levels of earthquake response in less than the other regions especially rather than the northern part, which is mostly related to the structure of the roads and also the height of the buildings.