Improving development outcomes and reducing disaster risk through planned community relocation

Nalau, J and Handmer, J 2018, 'Improving development outcomes and reducing disaster risk through planned community relocation', Sustainability, vol. 10, no. 10, pp. 1-14.

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Improving development outcomes and reducing disaster risk through planned community relocation
Author(s) Nalau, J
Handmer, J
Year 2018
Journal name Sustainability
Volume number 10
Issue number 10
Start page 1
End page 14
Total pages 14
Publisher MDPIAG
Abstract The idea of relocation as a transformative disaster risk reduction, climate adaptation, and development strategy follows the assumption that relocation reduces the vulnerability of communities. Yet, it is unclear whose and what kind of vulnerability is reduced through relocation, and which factors are important in determining the "success" of relocation efforts as strategies for development, climate change adaptation (CCA), and disaster risk reduction (DRR). Temporary and short distance relocation is highly likely to achieve increased resilience by reducing exposure, but relocation to a new area and new communities brings a range of issues. CCA and DRR use different timescales and focal points regarding relocation: CCA focuses on future mass permanent relocation and the subsequent potential loss of cultures and identities mainly due to projected sea level rise. The DRR community focuses on temporary relocation as a way to reduce exposure to a range of hazards, although it is also involved in permanent movement as a transformative way to reduce risk and enhance development. We explore these differences in this paper, with examples mainly from the Pacific Small Island Developing States where past relocations have been numerous. Better understanding and articulation of the underlying assumptions and preferences in CCA, DRR, and development discourses on planned community relocation could provide a richer context for future planning and dealing with both slow-onset and sudden disasters.
Subject Built Environment and Design not elsewhere classified
Keyword(s) Climate change adaptation
Disaster risk reduction
DOI - identifier 10.3390/su10103545
Copyright notice © 2018 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (
ISSN 2071-1050
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