Understanding risk in environmental planning

Authored by: Eoin O’Neill

The Routledge Companion to Environmental Planning

Print publication date:  August  2019
Online publication date:  July  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138894808
eBook ISBN: 9781315179780
Adobe ISBN:


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Risk is a feature of everyday life. Arising from societal advances and emergence of a ‘risk society’, there is an increasing desire to control risks. The spatial dimension of many environmental risks mean that a risk-based regulatory approach is now being incorporated into planning to evaluate and manage these. However, as people evaluate and perceive risks differently, their behavioural responses can vary. Exploring some of the complexities and challenges to risk managers, this chapter considers the role that environmental planning can play in supporting risk management. In effect, by influencing the design of the built environment, planning informs how people experience environmental risks, such as flooding, and how risk management responses are incorporated into the built environment. An understanding of the factors that influence risk perceptions are key to promoting the development of more resilient places.

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