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Planners are frequently called upon to advise cities, counties, regions, states and federal agencies concerning risk reduction and disaster recovery. Policies and programs at all government levels have evolved mitigation […]

Planners are frequently called upon to advise cities, counties, regions, states and federal agencies concerning risk reduction and disaster recovery. Policies and programs at all government levels have evolved mitigation strategies closely tied to the principles of urban and regional planning. Representing professional planners, the American Planning Association (APA) has played a role in research, analysis and strategies tied to wiser development, pre-disaster mitigation, and pre-event planning for post-disaster recovery. For example, APA provided technical assistance to recovery organizations and agencies after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

There is major benefit to be achieved through better information sharing among professional planners concerned with mitigation and disaster recovery. This proposed APA group can help planners:

  1. contribute more to the nation’s natural hazard risk reduction strategies;
  2. collaborate with specialists in such fields such as floodplain management and emergency management;
  3. better serve our respective communities, regions and states develop and implement sound pre- and post-disaster risk reduction and disaster recovery plans.

Operations: The proposed actions complement the larger aims of APA, including comprehensive planning, sustainability, risk reduction and disaster recovery. The proposed interest group is also consistent with APA’s organizational structure and parallels interest groups formed in other areas. Communication within the group will follow the APA model, relying principally on the Internet, with links to APA’s website. Administrative arrangements will be developed as this interest group begins to emerge and grow, including the selection of officers at a future date. We understand that this interest group does not possess the authority for financial transactions. We believe this approach will evolve to include a proposal for APA Division status, once membership reaches eligible levels.

About this blog. This blog is a test version developed prior to formal organization of the interest group.  Evolution of both format and content is expected with wide participation by group members in various advisory capacities.  Subject matter is expected to be diverse.  Strong links to related organizations outside the American Planning Association are anticipated.

To assist in this blog test, four beginning categories, below, have been created for posts and comments.   This typology is expected to evolve significantly as a result of user participation and feedback.

Four Categories

1. Mitigation & Planning Strategies— Tactical and strategic mitigation actions.  Integration with comprehensive and redevelopment planning, including post-disaster opportunities.

2. Post-disaster Recovery Planning— Methods and concepts for assisting states, regions and communities with post-disaster recovery, including community development initiatives.

3. Codes and Standards for Resiliency— Topics in development regulations, floodplain management and building codes supporting community safety, resiliency and sustainability.  Links to geo-science and building science

4. Organizational arrangements of this Interest Group— Idea exchange about the operation of this interest group, outreach, links to related organizations, technology, social networking and enhancements to this blog.