Plan quality and mitigating damage from natural disasters: A case study of the Northridge earthquake with planning policy considerations

Arthur Christian Nelson, Steven P. French

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

106 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Planners have long believed as an article of faith that land use planning can reduce damage from natural hazards. After evaluating the relationship between the seismic safety elements of comprehensive plans prepared in the Los Angeles region of California and damage caused by the 1994 Northridge earthquake, we provide evidence that this faith is not misplaced. The State of California requires every local government to include a seismic safety element in its comprehensive land use plan. The 1994 Northridge earthquake provided an opportunity to evaluate the extent to which the quality of state-mandated, locally prepared seismic safety elements reduce earthquake damage. We found that fewer homes were damaged when local governments had developed high-quality factual bases, formulated goals for improving seismic safety, crafted regulatory policies to manage development in hazardous areas, and advanced policies that made the public aware of seismic risks. We conclude that including a high-quality seismic safety element in land use plans can reduce property damage associated with seismic events. Our work has broad implications for land use planning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)194-207
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of the American Planning Association
Volume68
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

natural disaster
damages
land use
safety
earthquake
damage
planning
Northridge earthquake 1994
faith
land use planning
local government
regulatory policy
earthquake damage
natural hazard
policy
plan
event
evidence
land use plan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Urban Studies

Cite this

@article{7f4704e4b9694853b5e07201b28b95a6,
title = "Plan quality and mitigating damage from natural disasters: A case study of the Northridge earthquake with planning policy considerations",
abstract = "Planners have long believed as an article of faith that land use planning can reduce damage from natural hazards. After evaluating the relationship between the seismic safety elements of comprehensive plans prepared in the Los Angeles region of California and damage caused by the 1994 Northridge earthquake, we provide evidence that this faith is not misplaced. The State of California requires every local government to include a seismic safety element in its comprehensive land use plan. The 1994 Northridge earthquake provided an opportunity to evaluate the extent to which the quality of state-mandated, locally prepared seismic safety elements reduce earthquake damage. We found that fewer homes were damaged when local governments had developed high-quality factual bases, formulated goals for improving seismic safety, crafted regulatory policies to manage development in hazardous areas, and advanced policies that made the public aware of seismic risks. We conclude that including a high-quality seismic safety element in land use plans can reduce property damage associated with seismic events. Our work has broad implications for land use planning.",
author = "Nelson, {Arthur Christian} and French, {Steven P.}",
year = "2002",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "68",
pages = "194--207",
journal = "Journal of the American Planning Association",
issn = "0194-4363",
publisher = "Routledge",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Plan quality and mitigating damage from natural disasters

T2 - A case study of the Northridge earthquake with planning policy considerations

AU - Nelson, Arthur Christian

AU - French, Steven P.

PY - 2002

Y1 - 2002

N2 - Planners have long believed as an article of faith that land use planning can reduce damage from natural hazards. After evaluating the relationship between the seismic safety elements of comprehensive plans prepared in the Los Angeles region of California and damage caused by the 1994 Northridge earthquake, we provide evidence that this faith is not misplaced. The State of California requires every local government to include a seismic safety element in its comprehensive land use plan. The 1994 Northridge earthquake provided an opportunity to evaluate the extent to which the quality of state-mandated, locally prepared seismic safety elements reduce earthquake damage. We found that fewer homes were damaged when local governments had developed high-quality factual bases, formulated goals for improving seismic safety, crafted regulatory policies to manage development in hazardous areas, and advanced policies that made the public aware of seismic risks. We conclude that including a high-quality seismic safety element in land use plans can reduce property damage associated with seismic events. Our work has broad implications for land use planning.

AB - Planners have long believed as an article of faith that land use planning can reduce damage from natural hazards. After evaluating the relationship between the seismic safety elements of comprehensive plans prepared in the Los Angeles region of California and damage caused by the 1994 Northridge earthquake, we provide evidence that this faith is not misplaced. The State of California requires every local government to include a seismic safety element in its comprehensive land use plan. The 1994 Northridge earthquake provided an opportunity to evaluate the extent to which the quality of state-mandated, locally prepared seismic safety elements reduce earthquake damage. We found that fewer homes were damaged when local governments had developed high-quality factual bases, formulated goals for improving seismic safety, crafted regulatory policies to manage development in hazardous areas, and advanced policies that made the public aware of seismic risks. We conclude that including a high-quality seismic safety element in land use plans can reduce property damage associated with seismic events. Our work has broad implications for land use planning.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0036282749&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0036282749&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:0036282749

VL - 68

SP - 194

EP - 207

JO - Journal of the American Planning Association

JF - Journal of the American Planning Association

SN - 0194-4363

IS - 2

ER -