A spatial interpretation of Australia’s COVID-vulnerability

David Karacsonyi, Sigurd Dyrting, Andrew Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The school of social vulnerability in disaster sciences offers an alternative perspective on the current COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic crisis. Social vulnerability in general can be understood as a risk of exposure to hazard impacts, where vulnerability is embedded in the normal functioning of the society. The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed systemic (political and health care systems), demographic (aging, race) and,based on the results of our approach, spatial (spatial isolation and connectivity) yvulnerabilities as well. In this paper, we develop a risk prediction model based on two composite indicators of social vulnerability. These indicators reflect the two main contrasting risks associated with COVID-19, demographic vulnerability and, as consequences of the lockdowns, economic vulnerability. We conceptualise social vulnerability in the context of the extremely uneven spatial population distribution in Australia. Our approach helps extend understanding about the role of spatiality in the current pandemic disaster.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction
Publication statusPublished - May 2021

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