Disaster Risk Tied to Urban Growth

Two reports have linked patterns of urban development to disaster risk. As urban populations grow, these studies suggest developing countries will become even more vulnerable.

May 19, 2009, 10:00 AM PDT

By Nate Berg


"Smaller or poorer countries can be devastated by disasters that are relatively inconsequential in places shielded by size or wealth, said one of the reports, a United Nations study that is being released Sunday in Bahrain.

That study, the Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction, compared the impact of cyclones in the Philippines and Japan, for example. While more people in Japan are exposed to cyclones, the estimated annual death toll from such storms is 17 times higher in the Philippines, the study said.

...The other study, conducted by the Global Network of Civil Society Organizations for Disaster Reduction, a coalition of private nongovernmental groups, notes some isolated examples where communities acting on their own have found ways to reduce disaster losses. But it warned that many governments were lagging in efforts to make such resilience the norm, not the exception, despite having pledged to do so in a declaration in 2005.

The United Nations report is the most ambitious effort ever to compare data on all kinds and scales of disasters against population and economic trends, development and disaster experts said."

Saturday, May 16, 2009 in The New York Times

Kids

Opinion: Aging Population, Declining Fertility Requires Long-Term Investments

Faced with the dire consequences of a one-two punch of aging populations and declining birthrates, one writer has suggestions for how policy can help ensure a better future.

August 9, 2022 - Financial Times

Fracking

The Surprising Oil Tax in the Inflation Reduction Act

President Biden has made reducing gas prices paramount in his administration, so it was likely a surprise to hear a Republican senator last Sunday warn TV viewers that a revived and increased oil fee in the climate bill will increase their gas costs.

August 15, 2022 - Bloomberg News

People gather on a street with no cars during the L.E.A.F. Festival of Flowers in the Meatpacking District of New York City.

The Tide Has Turned Against Open Streets

Once a promising development for advocates pushing for a less car-centric future in cities, the open streets movement has ceded significant ground to cars since the height of the pandemic.

August 14, 2022 - The New York Times

110 Freeway

Opinion: Los Angeles Transportation Plan Will Increase Driving

L.A. Metro’s plan to add hundreds of miles of new traffic lanes is projected to increase carbon emissions by 10 million metric tons.

August 18 - Los Angeles Times

Flooding at the Whitehall Street station, New York

How Extreme Weather Threatens Transit Systems

As weather events become more intense and unpredictable, transit agencies must take steps to protect their aging infrastructure from flooding, storms, and extreme heat.

August 18 - Next City

Close-up of car tailpipe emitting smoke

Federal Rule Would Require Regional Emissions Reduction Targets

A rule shelved during the Trump administration would require states and metropolitan areas to set targets for reducing tailpipe emissions, but advocates say it doesn’t go far enough to mandate results.

August 18 - Governing

Assistant or Associate Professor of Urban Design

Harvard University Graduate School of Design

Professor of Urban Planning

Harvard University Graduate School of Design

Professor of Urban Design and/or Urban Planning

Harvard University Graduate School of Design

New Cityscape Explores Methods of Measuring Blight

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

2022 National Cohousing Conference

Cohousing Association of the US

New Updates on PD&R Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.