Regulatory measures to reduce natural hazard impacts and local seismic attributes in planning decisions: the case of Fatih district in İstanbul

Ertan, Pınar
Urban risks have been questioned since the 1999 events in Turkey confirming that local seismic attributes are primary indicators for urban risk management. During the past decade tools and frameworks for global disaster risk management have shifted the priorities from emergency management to pre-disaster risk management and demand new tasks from urban planning. Security and resilience in local, national and global levels becomes a shared accountability which brings in a prominent role to the planning discipline in reducing local seismic vulnerabilities via research, implementation and disseminating methods of mitigation. In the local context, the so called Disasters Law and the Development Law do not contain the necessary concern for safety in urban planning and have no aspiration to devise appropriate tools for mitigation. The role of city planners, who could mainstream a holistic approach and provide community participation into decision making processes, is hardly apparent in legislation. Urban mitigation planning methodology thus provides a new area of progression and expansion for the planning profession. This method is investigated in the local context of Fatih, sub-province in Istanbul. It is established that mitigation planning involves an elaborate set of procedures to include hazard identification, determination of vulnerable assets, spatial risk assessment, risk area prioritization, analyses of the emergency state and identification of more effective measures for risk reduction both in spatial and non-spatial terms in line with local development potential. This approach promises a new specialization in the planning theory and practice, and calls for new regulatory tools to facilitate implementation.