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Sudmeier-Rieux, K.; Fra Paleo, U.; Garschagen, Matthias ORCID: 0000-0001-9492-4463; Estrella, M.; Renaud, F. G.; Jaboyedoff, M. (December 2015): Opportunities, incentives and challenges to risk sensitive land use planning: Lessons from Nepal, Spain and Vietnam. In: International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, Vol. 14, No. 3: pp. 205-224
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Abstract

This paper addresses one of the most pressing drivers of risk: land use planning and pressures placed on land use by private and public investors. Three case studies are developed, analyzing both private and public investment decisions and the interplay between regulations, acting as various incentives or disincentives. In Vietnam, dynamic urbanization is linked to political liberalization in terms of migration, private industries, land markets and urban planning. This has resulted in rapid urban growth, thereby increasing risk through urban sprawl into hazard prone areas that had previously been kept clear of urban development. In northwestern Spain, the ``A Frouxeira'' seashore lagoon and wetland are severely threatened by agriculture expansion, dune mining, tree plantations, tourism and the Prestige oil spill in 2002, which placed significant pressures on this fragile ecosystem, leading to social and environmental conflicts. Finally in Nepal, poor food security, landslides and changing climate conditions are pushing people out of mountainous areas to the plains and abroad, leading to illegal settlements springing up in flood-prone riverbanks. Governance is inadequate to prevent these illegal settlements but the city has now become liable for the safety of persons residing in these dangerous areas. These cases highlight how private and public investments at various levels are increasing risks and what public solutions are envisaged, if at all, to address these risks, while highlighting the difficult trade-offs between development, risk and governance. Perhaps one of the strongest arguments in favor of risk sensitive land use planning is its cost-effectiveness, considering the high costs of structural measures to reducing risk. This can include ecosystem-based approaches as part of integrated planning, an often overlooked element of DRR for mitigating hazards, reducing vulnerabilities by providing livelihood resources and even exposure when dangerous areas are converted to green belts. Finally, we conclude that more effective risk reduction is possible through improved spatial planning. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.