Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management

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Volume 4 Issue 4 (December 1996), Pages 185-248

The Future is Not the Past Repeated: Projecting Disasters in the 21st Century from Current Trends (pages 228-240)

Trends affecting the modern world are resulting in social changes that raise the probability of more and worse disasters in the 21st century. The negative factors mostly stem from ever‐increasing industrialization and the urbanization process. The first trend may lead to computer and bio‐technological consequences despite no casualties. The second trend means that there will be more to impact; greater negative effects from the urban bureaucracies and heterogeneous sub‐cultures that characterize metropolitan areas; more vulnerable populations; and traditional communities are becoming less important as units for disaster planning. Some possible positive effects of other trends, such as the increasing importance of the mass media and the democratization of political activities, are unlikely to balance the negative effects of industrialization and urbanization.

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