James C. Schwab, AICP Manager, APA Hazards Planning Research ...

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James C. Schwab, AICP Manager, APA Hazards Planning Research ...

  1. 1. <ul><li>James C. Schwab, AICP </li></ul><ul><li>Manager, APA Hazards Planning Research Center </li></ul><ul><li>American Planning Association </li></ul><ul><li>International Institute of Municipal Clerks </li></ul><ul><li>Chicago, May 22, 2009 </li></ul>Municipal Information Preservation and Disasters: A User Perspective
  2. 2. Overview of Presentation <ul><li>Overall goal of information preservation in disaster </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Who cares? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Potential users </li></ul></ul><ul><li>APA: example case of national user of local disaster information </li></ul><ul><li>What matters to such potential users? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Access </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Adequacy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Accuracy </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Case study in depth: Arnold, Missouri </li></ul>
  3. 3. Who Cares? Why It Matters <ul><li>The goal: Preserving the widest array of the most useful information for future decision makers at all levels </li></ul><ul><li>Scientific information (local data can often supplement other official data in significant ways) </li></ul><ul><li>Crisis management </li></ul><ul><li>Policy management </li></ul>
  4. 4. Scientific Information <ul><li>Often available from state and federal scientific and regulatory agencies specializing in weather or geologic data collection: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>National Weather Service </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>U.S. and state Geological Surveys </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>U.S. Army Corps of Engineers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>BUT </li></ul><ul><li>Local knowledge and data can supplement such data in significant ways </li></ul>
  5. 5. Crisis Management <ul><li>How was crisis handled at an emergency management and public safety level during response and recovery periods? </li></ul><ul><li>How well were agencies trained and prepared for the crisis that ultimately struck, and what they learned from real life? </li></ul><ul><li>What was the nature and quality of the local experience of reviewing decisions made in crisis? </li></ul>
  6. 6. Policy Management <ul><li>Heavily intertwined with crisis management but looking toward more long-term impacts on the community and region </li></ul><ul><li>Involves analyzing both pre- and post-disaster decision making, including both hazard mitigation and recovery planning </li></ul><ul><li>Much more focused on interactions between agency staff and elected and appointed officials </li></ul><ul><li>Where policies for crisis management were in place, how well were they followed, or what adaptations were necessary? </li></ul>
  7. 7. Potential Users: Local Disaster Data <ul><li>Academic researchers in social and physical sciences as they intersect with disaster research </li></ul><ul><li>Policy analysts in design, public administration, and urban planning fields </li></ul><ul><li>End users of applied research in all the above fields </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Local planning and public works departments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Emergency managers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Engineering professionals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consultants in various disaster-related fields </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. APA: National User of Local Data <ul><li>What is the American Planning Association? </li></ul><ul><li>Purpose and selection of case studies in research projects </li></ul><ul><li>How we choose case studies </li></ul>
  9. 9. What is APA? <ul><li>44,500 members, of which 16,000 are credentialed as AICP (American Institute of Certified Planners) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>47 state chapters within U.S. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>20 divisions representing special member interests </li></ul></ul><ul><li>501 (c)(3) with Research Department dating to 1949 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Planning Advisory Service with 1,100 agency subscribers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Research periodicals </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Publications Department </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Planning (magazine) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Planners Press </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Journals (JAPA, PEL) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Newly created National Centers for Planning aimed at producing cutting-edge research, policy, education and outreach: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Green Communities Research Center </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Planning and Community Health Research Center </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hazards Planning Research Center </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Past and Current Research Projects Relating to Natural Hazards <ul><li>Subdivision Design in Flood Hazard Areas </li></ul><ul><li>Planning for Post-Disaster Recovery and Reconstruction </li></ul><ul><li>Landslide Hazards and Planning </li></ul><ul><li>Planning for Wildfires </li></ul><ul><li>Planning for the Unexpected </li></ul><ul><li>Integrating Hazard Mitigation into Local Planning </li></ul>
  11. 11. Other Recent Projects <ul><li>Planning the Urban Forest </li></ul><ul><li>Planning for a New Energy and Climate Future </li></ul><ul><li>Brand New: Community Planning Strategies for Successful Wind Energy Implementation </li></ul>
  12. 12. Case Studies: Purpose and Selection <ul><li>Opportunity to learn from best practices </li></ul><ul><li>Comparison of efficacy of various types of policies and decision processes in specific sets of circumstances </li></ul><ul><li>Improve knowledge of potential pitfalls in order to better prepare local officials in the future </li></ul><ul><li>Basis for training programs grounded in local realities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Example: “Planning for a Disaster-Resistant Community” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Four regional scenarios used as interactive small group exercises </li></ul></ul></ul>
  13. 13. How we choose case studies <ul><li>Geographic diversity </li></ul><ul><li>Best practices based on policies and implementation </li></ul><ul><li>Size and type of jurisdiction </li></ul><ul><li>Transferability of lessons learned </li></ul><ul><li>Significance of lessons learned </li></ul><ul><li>Other factors unique to the issue under consideration </li></ul>
  14. 14. Urban Forestry Case Study Analysis <ul><li>What public policy goals does the case study serve? </li></ul><ul><li>What problems or external stimuli are driving the program? </li></ul><ul><li>Is this a holistic approach or a single-purpose approach? </li></ul><ul><li>Is this program part of a comprehensive plan? If so, how? Are there linkages to other plans or plan elements? </li></ul><ul><li>What codes help implement the plan or program? </li></ul><ul><li>What agency(s) is responsible? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the innovative features, if any? </li></ul><ul><li>How is the program funded? How well is it funded? </li></ul><ul><li>When did the program start? How long has it been in existence? </li></ul><ul><li>How much of this is transferable to similarly sized cities? (All, most, some, none) </li></ul><ul><li>Who is the best contact for a case study author to interview? </li></ul>
  15. 15. Integrating Hazard Mitigation into Local Planning: Case Study Template <ul><li>Population, type of jurisdiction (bullet items) </li></ul><ul><li>Triggers: What was the most important factor (person, group, or event) that moved this community along the path to better integration of hazard mitigation into the planning process? </li></ul><ul><li>Status of local hazard mitigation plan (DMA) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Jurisdiction has own plan/part of multijurisdictional (and if so, what is the entity that prepared the plan?) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lead agency preparing LHMP; was planning agency involved and how? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stand-alone or multipurpose (e.g., doubles as comp plan element) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Most important hazards facing the community (use simple bullet list; do not list all hazards) </li></ul><ul><li>Hazards and visioning </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Was the topic of hazards part of any visioning or goal-setting process? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Comprehensive plan </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Is this a mandatory planning state? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Does comp plan have some sort of hazards element; if so, provide fundamental details </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What other elements address or cross-reference hazards? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What linkages exist between the elements that address hazards? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What implementation methods are cited in the plan? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Subarea and functional planning </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Do any neighborhood, corridor, or downtown plans address hazards in any meaningful way? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do any functional plans (sewer, transit, etc.) address hazards? For instance, sewerage may deal with stormwater, which is ultimately a potential flooding problem as well as an environmental issue. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Plan implementation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Did the plans for implementing provisions related to hazards get incorporated into any land-use codes, especially zoning and subdivision, but also possibly landscaping, design review, etc.? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Are concerns about hazards incorporated into submission requirements for development plans, such as redevelopment plans, PUDs, site plan reviews, etc.? Are there checklist items for developers to show how they have addressed hazards on sites where this may be relevant? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Are there any special requirements on hazard-prone sites for special review or approval by technical specialists? For example, fire marshal for wildfire areas; geotechnical experts for landslides and seismic zones; floodplain manager for floodplains, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Stakeholders </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bullet list of public agencies involved </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Innovations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What innovation(s) do you feel this community has offered in its approach to integrating hazard mitigation into local planning? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Which is/are most important? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What makes these innovations important to the larger planning community? </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. What matters to us in disaster-related case studies? <ul><li>Access to decision-making process among (e.g.): </li></ul><ul><li>Elected and appointed officials </li></ul><ul><li>Line agencies (police/fire/emergency/public works) </li></ul><ul><li>Staff agencies (planning/city manager/finance) </li></ul>
  17. 17. What matters to us in disaster-related case studies? <ul><li>Accurate, adequate records of events: </li></ul><ul><li>How early decisions may have opened or foreclosed later options </li></ul><ul><li>Nature and extent of public involvement </li></ul><ul><li>Problems that were averted/minimized/exacerbated </li></ul><ul><li>Relationships with neighboring or area jurisdictions </li></ul><ul><li>Relationships with other levels of government </li></ul><ul><li>Interactions with private sector and institutions (e.g., hospitals and universities) </li></ul>
  18. 18. Other Relevant Disaster Research <ul><li>Quick Response: need access to data “before it spoils” </li></ul><ul><li>Social science: how communities adapt </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Emerging concept of resilience; how to define it </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Public administration </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Crisis management and preparation and training </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Emergency management </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Effective tools and methods </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Integration with other professionals and agencies </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Civil and structural engineering </li></ul>
  19. 19. Arnold, MO (1993 Midwest Floods): Case Study Example in Depth <ul><li>Emergency period </li></ul><ul><li>Historic documentation of flood problems </li></ul><ul><li>1993 floods aftermath </li></ul><ul><li>Overall lessons </li></ul>Map source: http://www.city-data.com/city/Arnold-Missouri.html
  20. 20. The Emergency Period <ul><li>Searching for sandbags due to inadequate documentation from prior years on what real needs were </li></ul><ul><ul><li>6,000 estimate became 50,000 per day, finally 800,000 used </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Had to pay open market prices because of shortage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Difficulty in moving supplies where needed because of bridge closures </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Need to manage a multitude of tasks because there is no choice </li></ul><ul><li>Results of crisis </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Desire to “beat up the Corps” gave way to loss of commitment among many to life on the riverfront </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Communication with residents matters </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Siting matters: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>City Hall is above the floodplain </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Dispatch center and police squad room are windowless </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Emergency power generators allowed quick backup </li></ul></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Historic Documentation of Floods <ul><li>Good documentation on the source of the problem prior to Arnold’s incorporation as municipality in 1971 </li></ul><ul><li>Overall accumulation of upstream flood development increased city’s vulnerability to flooding over time </li></ul><ul><li>Arnold joined NFIP in 1980 and maintained good flood history documentation </li></ul><ul><li>Ultimately, 1991 floodplain management plan laid out long-term goals for acquisition and relocation of flood-prone properties </li></ul><ul><li>Need to remove property from development after acquisition </li></ul><ul><li>Developing this plan put Arnold in driver’s seat for hazard mitigation grants in 1993 flood and accelerated implementation of existing plan </li></ul>
  22. 22. 1993 Floods Aftermath <ul><li>Water affected 252 residences, producing $4 million in damages </li></ul><ul><li>Previous history of acquisitions lent credibility to grant applications </li></ul><ul><li>Solid documentation aided grant applications for federal aid; thoroughness paid off </li></ul><ul><li>Inventorying available funds for mitigation pays off for whole community </li></ul>
  23. 23. Overall Lessons from Arnold <ul><li>Document vulnerabilities before disaster happens so you can seize the moment afterwards </li></ul><ul><li>Floods are easily mappable and eliminate excuses for being able to anticipate possible damages </li></ul><ul><li>Never settle for doing the bare minimum to prepare </li></ul><ul><li>Put more, not less, information online and protect it well to make the public better educated and prepared </li></ul><ul><li>Start examining your information storage systems NOW </li></ul>

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