Chile's 8.5 earthquake resulted in a significantly lower death toll than the recent quake in Haiti. Partly it was the location of the epicenter, but strict building codes played a part as well.
Melissa Lafsky writes, "After a massive 9.5 earthquake hit the country in 1960 (the strongest ever recorded), the Chilean government developed a seismic design code for all new buildings, shown in the image above. According to AIR Worldwide, the country's building codes were revised again in 1993 to include significant advances over previous versions. And they were wise to do so, given the frequency with which Chile experiences quakes: the country gets hit with a magnitude 7 or higher quake at least once every five years, meaning that the earthquake awareness, both in engineering and building codes, is superior."
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HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research
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National Capital Planning Commission
This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.