The Role of Urban Resilience, Climate Change Adaptation, and Sustainability Planning in Disaster Risk Reduction: Session #1

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups: Regional Development and Planning Specialty Group, Urban Geography Specialty Group, Human Dimensions of Global Change Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM (Eastern Standard Time)
Room: Cleveland 1, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Organizers: Philip Gilbertson, Sara Meerow
Chairs: Philip Gilbertson

Call for Submissions

Over the last three decades, the number of billion-dollar disasters affecting the U.S. has steadily increased annually (Smith & Katz, 2013); 2017 being the most costly year on record (NOAA, 2018). Costs continue to rise in large part due to a lack of coordination among decision makers and continued development in hazardous areas.

Hazard mitigation has traditionally been isolated from land use, development, and other decision-making processes (Berke, Song, & Stevens, 2009). Given this separation, community policies and plans may end up increasing the number of people, homes, and infrastructure exposed to hazards. As a result, scholars, planning professionals, and hazard mitigation practitioners have emphasized coordination amongst planning and hazard mitigation activities (Ahern, 2011; Berke & Conroy, 2007; Lyles, Berke, & Smith, 2014; Schneider, R.O., 2002).

Cities across the country are increasingly engaged in resilience, sustainability, and climate change adaptation planning, all of which are supposed to cut across traditionally siloed departments and sectors. Despite this significant investment, if and how these planning efforts improve hazard mitigation remains an open question. There is a need to determine how these concepts are operationalized in individual cities, whether these planning efforts foster collaboration, if this integration reduces long-term hazard risks, and perhaps most importantly, for whom?

This session welcomes papers that address:

- Trends in urban planning or governance that may directly or indirectly increase or reduce disaster risk
- The extent to which resilience and sustainability have been integrated into hazard mitigation planning in urban environments
- Linkages (or lack thereof) amongst urban plans (e.g. comprehensive, land-use, hazard mitigation, disaster recovery, sustainability, resilience, etc.) to address hazard risks
- Differences in how the concepts of resilience and sustainability are operationalized to mitigate hazards
- Synergies and discords between the use of resilience, sustainability, or climate change adaptation plans to reduce disaster risks
- Spatial relationships amongst resilience or sustainability policies and hazard prone areas
- Disparities in who benefits from resilience, sustainability, or climate adaptation planning efforts
- Governance networks active in developing resilience or sustainability plans
- Influences of resilience, sustainability, and climate change adaptation planning on local, state, and federal hazard mitigation policies

If you are interested in joining this session please email your abstract to Philip Gilbertson ( by Sunday, October 21, 2018. You will be notified by October 23rd and you will have to officially register and submit your abstract by the October 25th deadline and email your pin to be added to the session.


Ahern, J. (2011). From fail-safe to safe-to-fail: Sustainability and resilience in the new urban world. Landscape and Urban Planning, 100(4), 341-343. doi:

Berke, P. & Conroy, M. (2000). Are we planning for sustainable development?. Journal of the American Planning Association, 66(1), 21-33.

Berke, P., Song, Y., & Stevens, M. (2009). Integrating hazard mitigation into new urban and conventional developments. Journal of Planning Education and Research, 28, 441-455.

Lyles, W., Berke, P., & Smith, G. (2014). Do planners matter? Examining factors driving incorporation of land use approaches into hazard mitigation plans, Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 57(5), 792-811.

NOAA. (2018). U.S. Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Diasters. Retrieved from

Schneider, R. O. (2002). Hazard mitigation and sustainable community development. Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, 11(2), 141-147. doi:10.1108/09653560210426821

Smith, A., & Katz, R. (2013). US billion-dollar weather and climate disasters: data sources, trends, accuracy and biases. Natural Hazards, 67(2), 387-410. doi:10.1007/s11069-013-0566-5



Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Kassie Ernst*, University of Tennessee, Informing and evaluating disaster preparedness with urban resilience knowledge systems: What counts, what’s missing, and what works? 20 8:00 AM
Presenter Madeleine Parker*, UC Berkeley, Re-settling for less? Decision-making in the post-disaster rebuilding process 20 8:20 AM
Presenter Jennifer Whytlaw*, Rutgers University, Rebuilding New Jersey: How Science and Community Engagement Improve Hazard Preparedness 20 8:40 AM
Presenter Hanne Van Den Berg*, Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Balancing equity and efficiency in adaptation to climate change: legitimacy in urban decision-making on resource allocation 20 9:00 AM
Presenter Sahar Zavareh*, LMU Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Resilient Cities and Disaster Recovery 20 9:20 AM

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