Introduction

Whereas previous chapters have focused upon the seismic resistance of individual buildings, this chapter takes a broader perspective. It discusses how urban planning can reduce a quake's destructive impact upon a region, city or community.

By implementing the principles already outlined in this book, the built environment (including houses, offices, schools and hospitals) has a far better chance of surviving the ravages of a damaging quake. Seismic resistant design enables buildings to withstand low-intensity shaking without damage and higher intensity shaking without collapse. Similarly, seismically-aware urban planning reduces societal vulnerability. Just as public health initiatives, like provision of potable water and sanitation, prevent widespread disease, seismically-aware urban planning has communities build in safer areas that are less vulnerable to strong shaking and other hazards. Ideally, urban planning also enables robust infrastructures to escape immediate post-earthquake paralysis and thereby facilitates the earthquake recovery process.

Urban planning literature highlights the complexities and limitations of planning processes. Planners respond to many diverse and often competing interests that seek to drive planning processes and outcomes. Among these interests, although hardly evident from the reading of urban planning texts, should be a concern for the provision of an adequate level of societal seismic resilience. Often lacking influential support, planners must take whatever actions they can to mitigate seismic impacts upon their society. This chapter shows how urban planning can contribute to the public good by improving seismic safety.

Architects' relationships to urban planning generally take one of two forms. On one hand, a few architects are actively involved as members of the planning profession drawing upon their architectural training and skills. At the other extreme, most architects are subject to urban planning regulations. Architects comply with the requirements of regional

▲ 15.1 Liquefaction hazard levels are shown in this liquefaction hazard map for Berkeley/Albany, California for an earthquake of the same magnitude as the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.

(Adapted from an ABAG earthquake map).

▲ 15.1 Liquefaction hazard levels are shown in this liquefaction hazard map for Berkeley/Albany, California for an earthquake of the same magnitude as the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.

(Adapted from an ABAG earthquake map).

and city plans as they design for their clients. Irrespective of an architect's relationship to urban planning, planning issues including those related to seismic safety need to be addressed.

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