Risk Reduction Planning (Saturday, 7 June 2014, 15:45 – 17:30)

Can We Learn to be Resilient? Learning in Heat Risk Planning in London, UK
Thomas ABELING (Germany)

Multi-Scale Policy Implementation for Natural Hazard Risk Reduction: Preliminary Results
Hsiang-Chieh LEE (Chinese Taipei)

A Seismic Hazard-Sensitive Model for Urban Land-Use Planning

Research on Policy of Reconstruction after Wenchuan Earthquake
Mingming XIANG (China)


According to Plan? Disaster Risk Knowledge and Organisational Responses to Heatwave Risk in London, UK

Department of Geography, King’s College London, London, UK/Institute for Environment and Human Security, United Nations University, Bonn, Germany

In the United Kingdom, low risk awareness of heat-waves among local officials from municipalities, health and social care organisations contrasts with recent scientific findings that suggest an increase in frequency and magnitude of extreme temperatures in the context of climate change. This discrepancy gives an impetus to better understand the pathways and constraints of how disaster risk knowledge informs local heat-wave planning in the UK, and the ways in which it can drive paradigm shifts in risk governance. The presentation traces the dynamics of learning in local heat risk planning, and explores key challenges for knowledge-induced change in urban risk management. London, UK, a global frontrunner in urban climate change adaptation, serves as an in-depth case study, drawing on six months of empirical research with local risk management organisations. Findings suggest that legal obligations for contingency planning create demand for disaster risk knowledge at the local level, and that national gate-keeping organisations at the interface of science and policy meet this demand by disseminating knowledge and risk management advice to local officials. However, this knowledge provision is rarely successful in steering sustainable change in the way that heat risk is perceived and planned for, as critical reflection and innovation are constrained by lacking resources in planning organisations. Learning unfolds as incremental adjustment at the micro-level only, and is contained in disconnected small-scale administrational units. The presentation therefore calls for a stronger focus on capacities and connectedness of local policy actors as a key challenge for the way in which disaster risk knowledge can inform paradigm shifts in risk planning. Rather than providing further institutional platforms for critical reflection and innovation, future knowledge dissemination strategies need to strengthen local capacities to make use of existing spaces of learning.

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Multi-Scale Policy Implementation for Natural Hazard Risk Reduction: Preliminary Results

Hsiang-Chieh LEE1, Karianne de BRUIN2, Naxhelli RUIZ-RIVERA3 and Wendy S.A. SAUNDERS4

  1. National Science and Technology Center for Disaster Reduction (NCDR), Chinese Taipei
  2. Center for International Climate and Environmental Research (CICERO), Oslo, Norway
  3. Institute of Geography, National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico
  4. Risk and Society Department, GNS Science, Lower Hutt, New Zealand

One of the key dimensions of any process of risk interpretation and action (RIA) relates to how disaster risk reduction policies are designed and implemented in different national settings. The objective of this project is to improve the understanding of multi-scale policy implementation for natural hazard risk reduction in four countries as a key dimension of risk interpretation and action at the political level. The focus of the project is an international comparison between New Zealand, Mexico, Norway and Chinese Taipei. While these countries represent the collaboration formed at the World Social Science Fellows (WSSF) seminar, they are also susceptible to similar natural hazards, in particular floods, landslides, earthquakes, and climate change; and represent countries within the geographical locations of Australasia, Latin America, Europe and Asia with a diversity of political systems and institutional strengths and weaknesses. The methodology is a comparative design based on content analysis of published emergency plans and land use plans at the national, regional, and local levels. Issues such as uncertainty, knowledge communication and learning from previous lessons are also included when analysing the plans. From the results opportunities, barriers and lessons that can be learned will be presented, with a critical reflection of the possible improvements to the policy-making process on each of the analysed contexts. Follow-up studies will include case studies of plan implementations, which include local capability assessment. This research supports the IRDR RIA framework by providing an empirical study of risk interpretation through policy to implementation, as well as posing questions for future research including:

  1. How are DRR policies implemented at the local level (land use changes, emergency management and civil protection)?
  2. What are the opportunities and barriers for improving implementation of policy at multiple levels?
  3. What can be learned from how different countries are implementing DRR policies?

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A Seismic Hazard-Sensitive Model for Urban Land-Use Planning

International Institute of Earthquake Engineering and Seismology, Tehran, Iran

In recent decades, the agglomeration of population and investment has made cities more and more vulnerable to natural and man-made disasters. Along with conventional risk reduction alternatives like retrofitting vulnerable buildings, enforcing construction codes, supervising the construction process and increasing the public awareness to the earthquake hazard, urban planning in general, and land-use management in particular, could, as an improving technique, contribute to risk reduction in earthquake-prone urban areas. The model presented here is used to find an optimal spatial land use allocation pattern for a defined urban environment. The proposed model can assist urban planners with a hazard-informed land-use allocation in planning new urban settlements or in improving existing urban areas in which changing land-use type may impose considerable cost and inconvenience to the administrative sector. The model has been applied for re-urbanisation of highly vulnerable areas in the south part of Tehran, Iran.

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Research on Policy of Reconstruction after Wenchuan Earthquake

Mingming XIANG1, Kabilijiang WUMAIER2, Takaaki KATO3, Osmu KOIDE4 and Mikiko ISHIKAWA5

  1. Mingming XIANG, Institute for Disaster Management and Reconstruction, Sichuan University-Hongkong Polytechnic University
  2. Kabilijiang WUMAIER, Institute for Disaster Management and Reconstruction, Sichuan University-Hongkong Polytechnic University
  3. Takaaki KATO, ICUS, Institute of industrial Science, the University of Tokyo
  4. Osmu KOIDE, Department of Urban Engineering, the University of Tokyo
  5. Mikiko ISHIKAWA, Department of Urban Engineering, the University of Tokyo

The “5ㄠ2” Wenchuan earthquake caused the most serious losses to Chinese people’s lives and property safety after the reform and opening up. Although the Chinese government have recovery and reconstruction experiences and lessons from the Tangshan earthquake, its restoration and reconstruction are centralised modes before the reform and opening up. Therefore, in the earthquake relief period, how to deal with the Wenchuan earthquake recovery and reconstruction planning in market economy system with Chinese characteristics became the most important challenge for the central government.

Before the earthquake, urban-rural integration development strategy (including integration of public service and management, integration of urban-rural markets operational, integration of urban-rural institutional arrangements) and integrated planning ideas of Urban and Rural Planning Law, provided a very favourable policy environment for the Wenchuan earthquake restoration and reconstruction planning and implementation. Therefore, this paper firstly aims to clarify the purpose of an urban and rural planning system, and then explores the influence of the reconstruction planning programme.

In this paper, a pre-disaster urban and rural planning system is a breakthrough point. The author analyses specific formation reasons of three rural issues (including agriculture, rural areas and farmers problems) and their resolution policy, focused on post-earthquake recovery and reconstruction plan preparation, and implementation of policies, and then, from the perspective of urban-rural integration, combine the whole relevant policy and implementation in the Wenchuan earthquake restoration and reconstruction.

Through this empirical study, these are the following conclusions: the need to promote Wenchuan earthquake recovery and reconstruction based on the concept of urban and rural integration, and its essential characteristics. For example, Wenchuan earthquake restoration and reconstruction regulations and the related policies all highlighted the importance of pre-disaster and post-disaster policy combination with Chinese characteristics philosophy.

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