Spatial planning and preparedness for a changing climate

Project

Weather related natural disasters can cause loss of life and excessive damages to buildings, roads and infrastructure in general. As a consequence of climate change, it is expected that weather related natural disasters could occur more frequently in the future.

In Western Norway more floods, mudslides and avalanches is expected. Sea level rise could cause storm surges to cause more damages in the decades to come. But also trends and development in the society makes the society more exposed and vulnerable to natural hazards, other circumstances equal. In this respect, local and regional spatial planning plays a crucial role in mitigating the threat that weather related natural hazards pose to society.

The projects main goal is to increase the ability of local and regional spatial planning in preventing weather related natural hazards to cause damages. The focus will be to prevent damages that could be caused as a consequence of climate change. The project will achieve this by:

1) Make a systematic analysis of recent weather related natural disasters and determine whether the damage could have been less severe if the spatial planning process had been carried out differently, the plans were not adhered to or that the natural disaster event was unexpected in terms of magnitude and character.

2) On the basis of the first step a) develop a better knowledge base and new management tools in order to improve the local- and regional spatial planning’s ability to mitigate and prevent weather related natural disaster to cause damages and b) develop course modules on natural disasters, climate change and spatial planning for educational purposes.