Water-related risk reduction in urban development plans

Recommendations for resilient planning practices from a Sicilian case study investigation


The goal to create hazard-resilient communities through sustainable land-use planning requires a fundamental change to the way in which planning is conceptualized and practiced. This implies a deep revision of the operationalizing policy and legislation at local levels and a clearer interpretation of the in-between domain of risk and emergency assessment and management.

This study deals with the complex relation existing between land use planning and disaster risk reduction and focuses on water-related risks. It aims to explore and define a set of proposals for increasing the effectiveness of actions taken by local administrations, at the stage of drafting and implementing local land use masterplans, so to enhance all aspects of disaster risk reduction in the planning practice.

In particular, novel contents for the local urban masterplans are investigated based on a case study located in eastern Sicily, Italy: considerations concern urban key criticalities analysed within the catchment of the Lavinaio-Platani, the latter acknowledged as the most dangerous stream in the considered area.

Although focused on a specific context, the outcomes of this research may be relevant for a wider range of urbanized environments, especially if prone to flooding risk, by providing targeted recommendations and cross-sectoral perspectives to profitably inform innovative masterplans.


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Author Biographies

Luca Barbarossa, University of Catania

Ph.D. in ‘Regional Planning and Management”, Luca is currently postdoc researcher at the Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture of the University of Catania. His scientific interests include sustainable land use, urban resilience, and the interaction between land use and transports. He is currently involved in a research focusing on the development of innovative measures and tools for urban and landscape regeneration project both at the urban and regional scale, particularly aims to cope with the effects of hydrogeological and climate change related risks.

Viviana Pappalardo, University of Catania

Ph.D. in ‘Evaluation and Mitigation of Urban and Land Risks’ with a thesis on planning resilient urban areas against urban pluvial flooding, Viviana is currently postdoc researcher at the Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture of the University of Catania. Her scientific interests include the role of ecosystem services and green infrastructure in urban areas, strategic planning and spatial analyses using GIS. She is currently working on the topic of ‘adaptigation’ to climate change in Mediterranean contexts through novel planning and policy tools.

Paolo La Greca, University of Catania

Full professor of City and Regional Planning, at the Department Civil Engineering and Architecture of University of Catania. His main research interests include Urban Planning aimed at urban renewal and environmental remediation. He is President of the Italian Center of Urban Studies (Censu) and has been President of the Regional Section of the Italian Urbanism Association (INU), Technical Adviser of delegation for DG Foreign Affairs of EU Commission (Bruxelles) and expert in Development Co-operation of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Rome).


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How to Cite
Barbarossa, L., Pappalardo, V., & La Greca, P. (2021). Water-related risk reduction in urban development plans. TeMA - Journal of Land Use, Mobility and Environment, 7-23. https://doi.org/10.6093/1970-9870/7680
The Emergency Plan for the use and management of the territory