Land use planning policies and initiatives in San Francisco for earthquake : what can Wellington learn?

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Mieler, D.H.; Beban, J.G.; Saunders, W.S.A. 2014 Land use planning policies and initiatives in San Francisco for earthquake : what can Wellington learn?. Lower Hutt, N.Z.: GNS Science. GNS Science report 2014/47 52 p.

Abstract: This report presents the land use planning policies and initiatives for earthquake in San Francisco, California, with discussions on how these lessons can be incorporated into planning practice within the Wellington region. Both locations have a similar geography: active faults, harbours, landslides and liquefaction susceptibility, and a history of damaging earthquakes. While the legislative environment in San Francisco is different to that in New Zealand, there is an opportunity for some learnings to be incorporated into land use planning for the Wellington region, and the rest of New Zealand. In particular, these include: 1. San Francisco has state legislation which holistically considers earthquake hazards. To achieve a similar outcome in New Zealand, increased national direction on how to address the risks associated with earthquake induced hazards (including fault rupture, liquefaction, tsunami, landslides and ground subsidence) is required. 2. San Francisco’s success with the development of their hazard mitigation plans, and the associated public support, is in part related to the extensive consultation and engagement process that they have undertaken. In New Zealand, greater community support could be obtained by undertaking non-legislative engagement with the community. 3. The California Seismic Hazards Mapping Act directs the California Geological Survey to establish regulatory zones in areas prone to liquefaction, earthquake-induced landslides, and amplified ground shaking. Cities and counties are required to use the Seismic Hazard Zone Maps in their land use planning and building permit processes. In contrast, while similar mapping is being, or has been, undertaken in New Zealand, it is piece-meal and not to any nationally agreed on, or legislatively supported, standard. 4. San Francisco has a number of financial incentives to address the risks associated with earthquake hazards. While there are financial incentives in Wellington and in New Zealand to address earthquake hazards, these are often disjointed, poorly marketed and apply to limited areas. Improved financial incentives are needed, from a centralised sourced, that can be accessed to address the risk from a variety of earthquake hazards. 5. To improve awareness of hazards, LIMs (Land Information Memorandums) could be made compulsory when purchasing, (or selling), a property, and should include all hazard information, regardless of if it is included in the district plan. Local council mapping of hazards would improve this hazard disclosure and awareness. (auth)