19. Resilient and sustainable territories

The increasing frequency and severity of natural and human-induced disasters, often linked to extreme weather events, causes considerable losses and damages in cities and regions worldwide. Urbanization trends and planning processes oriented to the development and management of human settlement systems of various sizes and forms generate multiple environmental concerns - from the degradation and fragmentation of natural ecosystems to the more and more frequent climate-related hazards – and may drive increased exposure of human settlements to a local mix of hazard factors within a short time span. Moreover, cities all over the world are more and more often threatened by significant social pressures related to poverty, conflicts or to increased migration flows and temporary human settlements, such as refugee camps. Disaster risk reduction (DRR) and the building of resilient communities and settlement systems feature strongly in international fora such as Rio+20, the Sustainable Development Goals and UN-Habitat’s New Urban Agenda. The on-going process towards the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 clearly identifies the decisive importance and role of land use and spatial planning in making resilient and less vulnerable territories and communities in combatting current and future natural, technological, na-tech, socio-economic and socio-technical hazards.

But how can planning contribute to realization of these agendas, particularly at sub-national level?

Land use and urban planning are more and more frequently identified as key non-structural risk mitigation measures to avoid exposure in most hazardous zones and to reduce exposure and vulnerability in already built areas. Even so, risk reduction, climate adaptation are often still addressed through sectoral approaches and tools, with limited integration into land use and urban planning processes. Moreover, in many countries the response to the more frequent disasters is still mostly reactive rather than proactive.

This track addresses ways and means to more effectively integrate DRR and Climate Adaptation through urban and territorial planning and to promote urban regeneration strategies contributing to fairer policies of welfare and hospitality. In line with the conference theme, we encourage contributions that engage with collaborative and proactive approaches as well as with adaptive planning practices, capable to reduce and manage current and emerging risks, through multi-stakeholder engagement and dialogue. We welcome papers of a theoretical, methodological or an applied nature focused on the multidimensional concepts of the resilience and sustainability of territories in the face of environmental and social challenges focusing, above all, on natural and technological risks. Moreover, as the dissemination of risk information through education is a crucial issue in the implementation of the Sendai Framework, we also are seeking contributions that discuss innovations in planning education related to DRR and/or sustainability. Deliberations around social justice in planning, which includes the topics of integration and social cohesion, for improving cities’ resilience in the face of current and future environmental and social challenges, are also encouraged.