Planning on the precarious periphery: Using GIS as a tool in evaluating landslide risk in Jacks Hill, Kingston

Authors: Ashleigh M McIntosh*, University of the West Indies, Mona, Rochelle McLeary, University of the West Indies, Mona, Tamera Little, University of the West Indies, Mona, Kervin Griffith, University of the West Indies, Mona
Topics: Urban and Regional Planning, Hazards and Vulnerability, Geographic Information Science and Systems
Keywords: GIS, Urban planning,
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/10/2018
Start / End Time: 12:40 PM / 2:20 PM
Room: Napoleon B1, Sheraton 3rd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Urban growth in the Kingston Metropolitan Area has been characterised by a northward expansion of settlement which has increased densities on hillsides surrounding the city. Unlike many other developing world cities, marginal hillside lands have become particularly attractive for higher income residents who have constructed elaborate properties in precarious terrain, susceptible to landslides and other hazards such as forest fires which occur frequently. Despite the steep terrain and deferentially unstable geology, development continues at comparatively rapid rates as gated communities and single family dwellings continue to emerge. This research represents an attempt to explore the consequences of urban expansion and examine risk in the Jacks Hill community using spatial data derived from national sources. This is done using a combination of field observation as well as geospatial modelling to differentiate risk in the area. A landslide risk model for the community was created which reveals that several areas with high density residential development are located in potentially high risk zones. Areas of potentially lower risk are also identified and proposed as areas more suitable for future development. The research also examines the ways in which challenges in the quality of national data sets may compromise sound decision making in relation to planning and zoning regulations.

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