Stanford University
CESTA
Vulnerability in Production: Road and Housing Networks
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Vulnerability in Production: Road and Housing Networks
About this Visualization
The story of the 1991 Oakland Hills (Tunnel) Firestorm has been told as a story of broken lives, as a display of bravery and heroism by community members, and as a reminder of the vulnerability of cities to destructive wildfires. These narratives are accurate in emphasizing the magnitude and long lasting impact of the firestorm in the region’s history. Indeed, over a 24-hour period, the firestorm destroyed over 3000 homes, killed 25 people, and seriously injured more than 150 others. The Tunnel fire stands as the largest fire, in terms of dwellings lost, in California history.

Yet, 20 years and many event narratives later, the influence of the region’s historical development on the story of the firestorm remains largely untold. This visualization emphasizes how the firestorm event is part of a larger process of regional economic development and natural resource management.

How to Use This Visualization
This visualization has two main modes of exploration: “Decade-by-Decade” mode, and “Play History” mode. In the top left-hand corner of the screen, the user has the option to play, pause, or move forward and backward through the decades of Oakland’s development.

In “Decade-by-Decade” mode, the user will click on the “Next” or “Previous” buttons and read the accompanying descriptive text for each decade. It is recommended that the user first view the visualization in this mode. After getting this background information, the “Play History” mode will better show the transitions between decades and show a clearer view of overall changes. The text is not meant to be read in this mode - the speed will be too quick!

Because there is so much data in this visualization, the user is given the option to control the visibility of the housing, road, and fire extent layers. Feel free to play around with these controls to find new patterns in the data.
RELATED VISUALIZATIONS:
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Vulnerability in Construction: An Analysis of Home Developments After the Tunnel Fire
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Fire Vulnerability in the Oakland Hills: Linking Emergency and Policy Reponses to the 1991 Tunnel Fire
Spatial History