Territorial aspects of emergency plans for dams. The case study of Lombardia Region

Keywords: Urban and Emergency planning, Dams, Disaster risk impact assessment

Abstract

A directive of the Prime Minister in 2014 required regions where large dams are located to develop emergency plans to coordinate efforts and resources in case of sudden unexpected release or the worst case of partial or total collapse.  The risk for downstream communities and assets is clearly a significant one, as many dams have been built some decades ago and there are evidences of changing trends in meteorological and climate relate extremes that are particularly dangerous for mountain relatively small catchments. In developing such new generation plans, the definition of risk scenarios describing territorial dynamics and features (in terms of hazard, exposure and vulnerability) provides a quali-quantitative representation of potential damages and losses that may occur in case downstream settlements and infrastructures are affected or, even worse, caught by surprise by an incident. On the basis of a recent experience carried out within a collaboration framework with the Lombardia Region, the paper provides indications on the current problems and opportunities related to risk management, emergency preparedness and planning in presence of dams considering technical, social and public policies decision-making issues as key. The paper provides initial reference to the national and international experience on the topic to discuss more in depth how territorial aspects have contributed substantially to shape emergency plans for dams and what are the consequent impacts on ordinary urban and regional plans at different scales.

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Author Biographies

Veronica Gazzola, Politecnico di Milano

Engineer, PhD. Currently research fellow at Politecnico of Milan on urban planning and environmental assessment topics with focus on prevention and mitigation of territorial risk conditions also by GIS support. Over the years, she has been involved in several research experiences and projects on Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation. Recently member of the E-ellow Submarine project and the Global Researchers’ Coordination Network to share international cognition and initiatives on COVID-19 pandemic response and mitigation in particular on urban environment issues.

Scira Menoni, Politecnico di Milano

Full professor. Field of specialization: technological and natural risks prevention. Land use and spatial plans, emergency plans, resilience and vulnerability assessment methods have been the focus of research and practical experience with public administrations and in the context of different EU funded projects that she has coordinated and participated to as a partner.

Antonella Belloni, DG Territory and Civil Protection Lombardia Region

Architect. Responsible for Emergency Planning at the Directorate General of Territory and Civil Protection, Operational Unit of Civil Protection, Planning and Volunteering Structure of the Lombardy Region. Main competences deal with Civil Protection purposes as management and coordination of a large variety of public authorities and subjects involved in potential emergency conditions; territorial planning for safety and protection of human lives, properties and environment in a territorial risk prevention perspective at different integrated levels; training and communication.

Claudia Zuliani, DG Territory and Civil Protection Lombardia Region

Geologist. Lombardy Region official at the Directorate General of Territory and Civil Protection, Operational Unit of Civil Protection, Planning and Volunteering Structure. Main competences deal with Civil Protection purposes as management and coordination of a large variety of public authorities and subjects involved in potential emergency conditions; territorial planning for safety and protection of human lives, properties and environment in a territorial risk prevention perspective at different integrated levels; training and communication.

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Published
2021-06-30
How to Cite
Gazzola, V., Menoni, S., Belloni, A., & Zuliani, C. (2021). Territorial aspects of emergency plans for dams. The case study of Lombardia Region. TeMA - Journal of Land Use, Mobility and Environment, 93-108. https://doi.org/10.6093/1970-9870/8029
Section
The Emergency Plan for the use and management of the territory