Yaella Depietri







Dr. Yaella Depietri  earned her PhD in Environmental Sciences at the Institute of Science and Technology (ICTA), Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) (Spain) in 2015 jointly with the United Nations University, Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS), Bonn (Germany). She then was a Post-Doctoral researcher at The New School in New York City for two years working on different aspects of risk and vulnerability of the city to natural hazards, including heat waves floods and coastal storms. She is now on a Zeff Postoctoral Fellowship at the Technion (Israel). Her research focus is on urban vulnerability, disaster risk reduction and ecosystem services. She is particularly interested in how ecosystems play a role in shaping vulnerability to natural hazards of local population and in exploring the tradeoffs between cultural and regulating services.


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Latest presentations

Ecosystem services and fire risk reduction at the wildlandurban interface: the case of Haifa, Israel


Dr. Yaella Depietri gave a presentation titled “Ecosystem services and fire risk reduction at the wildland-urban interface: the case of Haifa, Israel” at a Webinar series organized by the Centre of Studies in Geography and Spatial Planning (CEGOT), a center constituted of members of the Geography Departments of three host universities in Central and Northern Portugal: Coimbra, Porto and Minho. The title of the webinar series is  “Wildfire management in a time of change and uncertainty: the contribution of science”. The presentation was given on the 9th of July 2020 during the first webinar of the series. It discussed the findings of three related studies conducted by Dr. Depietri and Prof. Daniel E. Orenstein, and analyzing different aspects of the problem of wildfire risk at the wildland-urban interface of Haifa, Israel.


“Forest Fire Risk Reduction: Towards an Integrated Fire Management Approach in Haifa”. 

Presented at the National Knowledge and Research Center for Emergency Readiness on the 7th of January 2020.

The presentation is available here

Forest fires in Mediterranean ecosystems are increasingly affecting the wildland-urban interface. In these regions, the proximity of high concentrations of people and buildings to fire-prone open spaces leads to significant losses, posing new challenges for dealing with fire risk. We contribute to the literature on fire risk reduction at the wildland urban interface with three unique studies applied to the city of Haifa. First, we define fire regulating services and disservices in open spaces and assess them in relation to land use changes which occurred in the Haifa-Carmel region. The objective is to improve biophysical and economic assessments of ecosystem services related to fire risk and steer integrated approaches towards reducing fire risk. Next we investigated actual and potential conflicts arising between the aesthetic preferences of Haifa inhabitants to unmanaged forested areas and the need to implement fuel management practices to reduce fire risk in these same areas. Finally, we suggest how, at the wildland-urban interface, understanding and adapting to fire risk requires combining and mediating between two cultures of fire risk: one which addresses fire risk in the urban setting, in and around buildings, and one designed to deal with fires in the open forest. We conclude that in a mosaic of land-uses such as Haifa, a hybrid approach to fire risk is required.



Ghermandi, A., Depietri, Y., Sinclair, M., 2022. In the AI of the beholder: A comparative analysis of computer vision-assisted characterizations of human-nature interactions in urban green spaces. Landscape and Urban Planning 217, 104261. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landurbplan.2021.104261

Depietri, Y., 2022. Planning for urban green infrastructure: addressing tradeoffs and synergies. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 54, 101148. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cosust.2021.12.001

Depietri, Y., Orenstein, D.E., 2021. Chapter 1.1 – Bridging two cultures of fire risk at the wildland-urban interface: The case of Haifa, Israel, in: Santos, P.P., Chmutina, K., Von Meding, J., Raju, E. (Eds.), Understanding Disaster Risk. Elsevier, pp. 19–36. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-819047-0.00001-9

Tedim, F., McCaffrey, S., Leone, V., Vazquez-Varela, C., Depietri, Y., Buergelt, P., Lovreglio, R., 2021. Supporting a shift in wildfire management from fighting fires to thriving with fires: The need for translational wildfire science. Forest Policy and Economics 131, 102565. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.forpol.2021.102565

Depietri, Y., Ghermandi, A., Campisi-Pinto, S., Orenstein, D.E., 2021. Public participation GIS versus geolocated social media data to assess urban cultural ecosystem services: Instances of complementarity. Ecosystem Services 50, 101277. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoser.2021.101277

Depietri, Y., Orenstein, D.E., 2020. Managing fire risk at the wildland-urban interface requires reconciliation of tradeoffs between regulating and cultural ecosystem services. Ecosystem Services 44, 101108. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoser.2020.101108

Depietri, Y., 2019. The social–ecological dimension of vulnerability and risk to natural hazards. Sustainability Science. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11625-019-00710-y

Depietri, Y., Orenstein, D.E., 2019. Fire-Regulating Services and Disservices With an Application to the Haifa-Carmel Region in Israel. Frontiers in Environmental Sciences 7. https://doi.org/10.3389/fenvs.2019.00107

Depietri, Y., Dahal, K., McPhearson, T. (2018). Multi-hazard risks in New York City. Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences 18, 3363–3381. https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-18-3363-2018

McPhillips, L.E., Chang, H., Chester, M.V., Depietri, Y., Friedman, E., Grimm, N.B., Kominoski, J.S., McPhearson, T., Méndez-Lázaro, P., Rosi, E.J., Shiva, J.S. (2018). Defining Extreme Events: A Cross-Disciplinary Review. Earths Future. https://doi.org/10.1002/2017EF000686

Depietri, Y., McPhearson, T. (2018). Changing urban risk: 140 years of climatic hazards in New York City. Clim. Change 1–14. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-018-2194-2

Depietri, Y., McPhearson, T., (2017). Integrating the Grey, Green, and Blue in Cities: Nature-Based Solutions for Climate Change Adaptation and Risk Reduction, in: Nature-Based Solutions to Climate Change Adaptation in Urban Areas, Theory and Practice of Urban Sustainability Transitions. Springer, Cham, pp. 91–109.

Johnson, K., Depietri Y., Breil M. (2016) Multi-hazard risk assessment of two Hong Kong districts. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction,19, 311-323.

Depietri, Y., Kallis, G., Baró, F., Cattaneo, C., 2016. The urban political ecology of ecosystem services: The case of Barcelona. Ecological Economics. 125, 83–100.

Welle, T., Depietri, Y., Angignard, M., Birkmann, J., Renaud, F., Greiving, S. (2014). Vulnerability Assessment to Heat Waves, Floods, and Earthquakes Using the MOVE Framework: Test Case Cologne, Germany, in: Alexander, D., Birkmann, J., Kienberger, S. (Eds.), Assessment of Vulnerability to Natural Hazards: A European Perspective. Elsevier, San Diego, CA, pp. 91–124.

Depietri, Y., Welle. T., Renaud, F. G. (2013). Social Vulnerability assessment of the Cologne urban area (Germany) to heat waves: links to ecosystem services. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 6: 98-117.

Guadagno, L., Depietri, Y. and Fra-Paleo, U. (2013). Urban disaster risk reduction and ecosystem services. In Renaud, F. G., Sudmeier-Rieux, K., and Estrella, M.: The Role of Ecosystems in Disaster Risk Reduction. UNU-Press, Tokyo, 389-415.

Depietri, Y., Renaud, F. G., and Kallis, G. (2012). Heat waves and floods in urban areas: a policy-oriented review of ecosystem services. Sustainability Science, 7 (1):95-107.

Giupponi C., Mysiak J., Depietri Y., Tamaro M. (2011). Decision Support Systems for water resources management: current state and guidelines for tool development in Vanrolleghem P.A. (Ed.), Decision Support for Water Framework Directive Implementation, IWA Publishing, Vol. 3, pp. 107-202.