It might be tempting to think that living in a city puts residents at a lower risk for disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes, or forest fires. It might even be true, depending on how far that city is from a coastline or open farm country or a swath of woods.
But cities have no shortage of environmental hazards. Smog. Contaminated Superfund sites. Brownfields. Water pollution. Decaying infrastructure. These and other hazards put urban dwellers at risk for health and safety problems that could be as small as an allergic reaction or as serious as catastrophic property loss.
So how do planners weigh these risks when building or rebuilding urban areas? They turn to ATTOM Data Solutions, of course.
So How Big Are the Risks?
Actually, they’re pretty big. ATTOM Data’s environmental hazard housing risk index report found that residents in more than 2,300 U.S. zip codes were at serious risk for the environmental problems that plague urban areas: poor air quality, toxic materials, brownfields, and general pollution. That translates into 17.3 million homes, valued at $4.9 trillion, that are in potentially problematic areas.
That’s on top of the billions in damages environmental issues can create. When you add up events like California’s Camp fire ($19 billion in damages) or Hurricane Harvey ($161 billion) and add them to the worldwide cost of nagging problems like air pollution ($5 trillion globally in 2016) and it’s easy to see how planners need to address these problems.
Planning for Safer Cities
Urban planners have to consider a lot of technical data, from materials used to construct roads and buildings, to how location and layout affect how much heat a city generates or how much energy it drains. They need to know what kinds of environmental hazards the city is or could be most prone to and how new or renovated areas could contribute to those problems.
And when urban planners need trusted data, they turn to ATTOM.
ATTOM’s Environmental Hazard Data break risks down to the neighborhood and even the property. Developers can see troubles, natural and man-made, before putting a single shovel in the ground. Building safety professionals can spot potentially contaminated properties before sending a single inspector. Designers can identify the potential for floods, storms, or sinkholes before even leaning over the drawing board.
How ATTOM Delivers
ATTOM Data Solutions delivers Environmental Hazard Data how professionals want it. API or bulk, ATTOM data cover the entire United States and get updated annually. ATTOM compiles reports from numerous government agencies that track natural and man-made risks within a given geographical area and delivers the most thorough and up-to-date information that lets the pros know what they’re up against. Whether it’s radon or an earthquake, ATTOM’s Environmental Hazard Data can help planners make better, safer places to live and work.