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Sustainability 2014, 6(7), 4645-4657; doi:10.3390/su6074645

Safety or Salamanders? Natural Hazards and Environmental Conservation in Comprehensive Planning

Department of Public and International Law, Faculty of Law, University of Oslo, P.O. box 6706 Sankt Olavs plass, 0130 Oslo, Norway
Received: 31 March 2014 / Revised: 26 June 2014 / Accepted: 17 July 2014 / Published: 23 July 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Law for Sustainability)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [415 KB, uploaded 24 February 2015]

Abstract

The stated purpose of Norwegian land use planning is to promote sustainable development. Environmental considerations are central in the planning process, but have to compete with many other goals and interests. In recent years, complexity, population density and similar factors have made the society more vulnerable. Several major floods, landslides and other natural incidents have raised public awareness about the safety aspect of planning. At the same time, better knowledge about natural systems, including the effects of climate change, have increased the level of uncertainty. In this article, I consider the relation between environmental and safety considerations in planning from a legal perspective. While the examples and theoretical framework are from the Norwegian legal system, the overall analysis is general and, thus, relevant also outside the national jurisdiction. Rather than being opposite and directly competing goals, I argue that safety and conservation can be promoted by the same measures, often with mutual benefits. Thus, the current focus on societal safety can actually enhance the environmental aspect of sustainable development. View Full-Text
Keywords: environmental law; land use planning; societal safety; uncertainty; climate change; vulnerability environmental law; land use planning; societal safety; uncertainty; climate change; vulnerability
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Junker, E. Safety or Salamanders? Natural Hazards and Environmental Conservation in Comprehensive Planning. Sustainability 2014, 6, 4645-4657.

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