TRACK 11 RESOURCES: Risk generation and risk mitigation in the Anthropocene era
Kalliopi Sapountzaki (Harokopio University, Greece)
Anton Shkaruba (Estonian University of Life Sciences, Estonia)

Risks and disasters are not exogenous to (spatial) development. Not only disasters jeopardize development gains, but there are specific development paths producing risks. Examples include expansion of construction activities in hazardous sites; poverty and marginalization in terms of entitlement and access to resources; pressure on limited resources (e.g. water, land) and over-confidence on engineering counter-disaster infrastructure. These risk spreading processes can be long-term and reaching far outside the scales where they have emerged, and impact hazard, exposure and vulnerability factors. Therefore, risk mitigation requires the support of spatial planning, or even needs to be integrated into it. Many present-day disasters result from path dependencies created through problematic decisions of the past, and today our choices and non-choices may be creating route causes for future disasters (Tierney, 2014).

Track 11 calls for contributions addressing so-called “risk-informed”, or “risk-based” planning adhering to the 2030 Goals for Sustainable Development (SDGs) and the Sendai Framework for Action, 2015-2030. Governance challenges are of critical importance for risk-based planning: this has to do with power allocation to decision making centers, transparency and accountability of the decision process in terms of risk definition and profiling, identification of risk exposed groups and sectors, involvement of risk managing and exposed actors to the spatial planning process, as well as choice of appropriate spatial planning tools and instruments.

The track welcomes theoretical, methodological and empirical contributions addressing (a) the role of spatial development processes in risk generation and (b) spatial plans and policies reducing vulnerability and exposure, enhancing resilience as well as coping and adaptation capacities versus all the types of hazard (natural, socio-natural, manmade) including Climate Change. Paper topics may include the following:

  • Spatio-temporal dimensions of environmental hazards;
  • Interrelationships between risk and spatial development;
  • Territorial processes increasing exposure and vulnerability or boosting resilience;
  • Risk assessment methodologies capturing  spatio-temporal variability of risk;
  • Spatial plans and policies for risk mitigation or enhancing resilience;
  • Community and urban resilience versus private resilience;
  • Spatial plans and policies promoting CC mitigation and adaption;
  • Nature-based solutions for risk reduction;
  • Prevention, preparedness, emergency and recovery spatial plans;
  • Conflicts between risk mitigation and planning/development cultures;
  • Coupling risk and territorial governance.

Key Words: Risk and Space; Risk Mitigation/Emergency/Recovery Plans; Spatial Risk/Vulnerability Analysis; Community and Urban Resilience; Sendai Framework