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Public Participation in Natural Hazard Mitigation Policy Formation: Challenges for Comprehensive Planning


  • David Godschalk
  • Samuel Brody
  • Raymond Burby


Democratic theory holds that active participation in governmental planning and decision making is critical to furthering the public interest. As a result, public participation in urban planning in the US is arguably the most extensive and intensive in the world. Required by federal, state and local laws, citizen involvement is a staple of local plan making. However, as this paper shows, citizen interest in participating in the formulation of hazard mitigation policies in comprehensive plans is low, despite mounting evidence of perils to life and property from floods, hurricanes and earthquakes. Using evidence from case studies in Florida and Washington, the causes of disinterest are dissected and ways to increase public input to hazard mitigation policies in local comprehensive plans are recommended.

Suggested Citation

  • David Godschalk & Samuel Brody & Raymond Burby, 2003. "Public Participation in Natural Hazard Mitigation Policy Formation: Challenges for Comprehensive Planning," Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(5), pages 733-754.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jenpmg:v:46:y:2003:i:5:p:733-754
    DOI: 10.1080/0964056032000138463

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    Cited by:

    1. Shibly Shahrier & Koji Kotani, 2016. "Labor Donation Or Money Donation? Pro-Sociality On Prevention Of Natural Disasters In A Case Of Cyclone Aila, Bangladesh," The Singapore Economic Review (SER), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 61(01), pages 1-26, March.
    2. Pamela Box & Deanne Bird & Katharine Haynes & David King, 2016. "Shared responsibility and social vulnerability in the 2011 Brisbane flood," Natural Hazards: Journal of the International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, Springer;International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, vol. 81(3), pages 1549-1568, April.
    3. Heather Kohls & Russell Kashian, 2006. "Comprehensive Planning: Is There a Relationship between Committee Design and Subsequent Outcome: A Baseline Survey," Working Papers 06-04, UW-Whitewater, Department of Economics.
    4. Schenker-Wicki, Andrea & Inauen, Matthias & Olivares, Maria, 2010. "Unmastered risks: From crisis to catastrophe: An economic and management insight," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 63(4), pages 337-346, April.
    5. Philip Berke & John Cooper & David Salvesen & Danielle Spurlock & Christina Rausch, 2010. "Building Capacity for Disaster Resiliency in Six Disadvantaged Communities," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 3(1), pages 1-20, December.

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