Research Visit: Anna Lo Jacomo

Bristol Cohort 2 student Anna Lo Jacomo has just returned from a rewarding research visit to Nanjing, China. Anna spent two months at Hohai University in the School of Business Management and one month at Nanjing Normal University in the Department of Geography. The aim of the research visit was to better understand existing challenges in areas exposed to multiple hazards, particularly in relation to interruptions to critical infrastructure. This was done by reviewing available information on past hazards and impacts on two mid-sized cities in China – Lishiu in the Zhejiang Province and Jingdezhen in the Jiangxi Province.

Anna conducted a site visit to Jingdezhen, where she assisted a meeting with local risk management authorities and conducted interviews with water supply and drainage management authorities to better understand the vulnerabilities of the existing infrastructure. Based on the information collected, it seemed that one of the crucial aspects in risk accumulation to lifelines was the location of some new residential blocks, which she hopes to explore upon her return to the UK. Anna also attended the Increasing Resilience to Natural Hazards in Earthquake Prone Regions in China (IRNHiC) conference in Beijing, where she presented a poster of her work.

Anna considers that the experience of working in China will be valuable in her field, as it is an area undergoing rapid urban expansion and has significant exposure to natural hazards. This visit provided a great opportunity to build new connections with both students and academics, to practise speaking some (still very elementary) Chinese and to visit some of the surrounding sights like the impressive Huangshan Mountains.  Anna has built strong personal links with Chinese PhD students working on similar challenges, with plans for two joint publications.

Anna’s PhD project is on ‘Planning resilient water systems in cities exposed to multiple hazards’.