Land use regulation

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Responsible land-use planning can prevent or reduce the severity of impact that a natural hazard can have upon a community, and particularly at-risk groups such as children, older people, persons with disabilities, disadvantaged and minority communities.

  • Land use regulations must ensure provision of safe and accessible places for living, working, recreation, and transportation of all marginalized groups in the community.
  • The planning process, including risk assessments, should be conducted in a participative and accessible way and actively involve the entire community, including women, men and children with all types of disabilities, older people and other at-risk groups.
  • Planning for housing construction should consider exposure of persons with mobility limitations to risk in the event of a disaster, and safe and accessible locations should be selected.
  • Regulations for critical infrastructure (e.g., bridges, schools, hospitals) should promote universal design and provide sufficient space for people to evacuate on foot as well as on wheelchairs.
  • Accessibility should also be incorporated in regulation of low-resource environments such as refugee camps and emergency housing to reduce risk and uncertainty for all residents and improve health, wellness, and household autonomy by developing readily accessible spaces, places, and services.