Subdivision policy and planning for bushfire defence: a natural hazard mitigation strategy for residential peri-urban regions in Victoria, Australia

Bond, T and Mercer, D 2014, 'Subdivision policy and planning for bushfire defence: a natural hazard mitigation strategy for residential peri-urban regions in Victoria, Australia', Geographical Research, vol. 52, no. 1, pp. 6-22.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Subdivision policy and planning for bushfire defence: a natural hazard mitigation strategy for residential peri-urban regions in Victoria, Australia
Author(s) Bond, T
Mercer, D
Year 2014
Journal name Geographical Research
Volume number 52
Issue number 1
Start page 6
End page 22
Total pages 17
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Asia
Abstract From time to time, catastrophic bushfires cause substantial losses of life and property in southern Australia. Moreover, recent analyses of longitudinal fire weather behaviour point to a steady increase in the Forest Fire Danger Index. Although natural hazards such as bushfires can rarely be prevented, effective hazard-mitigation strategies can manage and lessen the impact on humans and the environment. This paper investigates subdivision design as one such mitigation technique. Roads and other forms of access are vital to successful bushfire response by fire brigades. The research examines the effectiveness of current policy to provide adequate access and suppression opportunities for firefighters in peri-urban areas, with particular reference to Victoria. Subdivision policies applicable to development in bushfire-prone areas throughout Australia and the United States are assessed and compared. Interviews with firefighters, planners, and researchers provided insight into the key components of the road network which facilitate firefighter access and identified major shortfalls of current policy and practice in Victoria.
Subject Urban and Regional Planning not elsewhere classified
Keyword(s) bushfires
climate change
subdivision design
peri-urban areas
land use policy
DOI - identifier 10.1111/1745-5871.12040
Copyright notice © 2013 Institute of Australian Geographers
ISSN 1745-5871
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