IMPACT aims at better understanding the links between culture, risk perception and disaster management in transport hubs.

In particular, the objectives of this CSA are:

  • Analysing how emotional, psychological and social needs, as well as communal strengths and coping skills that arise in disasters, can affect the way certain urban communities prepare, respond, engage in restoration and recover from disaster.
  • Anticipating problems and identifying solutions to cultural problems that may arise in the event of an emergency in urban areas, by providing an analysis of existing links between disaster and culture.
  • Improving the effectiveness of those who respond to disasters by better meeting the needs of various cultures during disaster relief, thus improving reaction time and reducing fatalities.
  • Increasing hubs’ preparedness for, and ability to, recover from emergencies.
  • Providing a framework for improving disasters’ policies and practices by taking into consideration every disaster victim’s cultural and personal uniqueness.

To meet these objectives, actions at different levels are required.

  • CSA objectives 1 and 2 require a systematic and well-focused selection and analysis of past research actions dealing with cultural aspects and security management.
  • CSA objectives 3 and 4 require the identification and interaction with selected organizations/end users, in order to exploit a cultural-oriented approach to emergency prevention and management by tailoring these information on their needs.
  • CSA objective 5 requires the identification of institutional stakeholders and the dissemination of information useful to promote a cultural-based approach for improving disasters’ prevention and management at a policy level.
The project will undertake actions at different levels in order to provide an integrated model for cross-cultural emergency prevention and management in the transport sector. The figure below shows the overall IMPACT approach and conceptual framework.

IMPACT will develop a cross-cultural and psycho-social crowd behaviour theoretical framework for risk prevention and emergency management in the transport hub domain. This framework will rely on previous research projects and on the expertise of selected partners and will be compared and enriched with:

  • domain knowledge on security and cultural issues coming from the end users involved in the proposal,
  • a desk analysis of past crisis events in which culture played a key role.

The merge of these branches will provide an integrated model that, together with fieldwork on transport hubs, will feed the design and analysis of the agent-based computational model. On one side, this model will provide relevant feedback to iteratively shape the theoretical framework; on the other side, its application to IMPACT tools and methodologies will constitute a validation model for the project’s supporting measures, identified in:

  • the development, testing and delivery of methodologies and tools for cultural risk assessment,
  • guidelines for cultural-based emergency communication,
  • an integrated package (comprising a dedicated simulation environment) for cultural-based multi-lingual training for security operators and first responders.

These activities will be exploited through coordination initiatives involving transport stakeholders, regulators and policy makers. Moreover, a separated coordination initiative will provide an effective transfer of the knowledge gathered within the project to other domains.
All the coordination and support initiatives will feed back the theoretical model on which they are based with new knowledge and key information, providing a set of best practices to be used as a reference for further security initiatives within this domain.