Planning for resilience in a changing climate: Integrating spatial analysis and on-line pollution inventories to manage chemical releases during floods
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Climate change is likely to increase the frequency, duration and intensity of flooding in urban areas around the world, posing a major challenge for planners (IPCC 2012). While scientists are reluctant to attribute individual floods to climate change, there have been indications of the types of challenges that lie ahead with major inundations of urban areas in the USA, UK and Australia over the last two years. When such flooding occurs in industrial zones there is an increased risk that hazardous substances will be released into flood waters posing an added danger to both people and the environment. A well-integrated and coordinated response is required to manage these risks using spatial planning and policy instruments that make the best use of the full range of information available about such hazards. This paper argues that the essential information needed is already available, much of it on-line, through initiatives such as on-line pollution inventories that identify the location of sites where hazardous chemicals are used, created or emitted. We demonstrate how such on-line data can be integrated into a useful spatial risk analysis tool that will assist urban planning, disaster risk management, and climate change adaptation. The paper offers a three-way comparative analysis of the relevant planning and policy instruments already in place in the USA, UK and Australia (Howes 2005). A pilot study of the 2011 Brisbane floods is used as an example of how an integrated spatial risk analysis instrument can be created to provide timely, accessible and valuable information for policy-makers, planners and emergency services.
Planning for Resilient Cities and Regions
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Land Use and Environmental Planning