The Bartlett Development Planning Unit


Words into Action guidelines: Implementation guide for land use and urban planning

Brazil favela

13 February 2020

By Shipra Narang Suri; Cassidy Johnson; Barbara Lipietz and Sarah Brennan.

Published by United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) and posted here (link).

This guide responds to the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 (Sendai Framework) concern that more dedicated action needs to be focused on tackling underlying disaster risk drivers in urban areas through strengthening land use and urban planning.

This report is intended to provide guidance for the urban planning profession and those involved in city development on how to incorporate disaster risk reduction (DRR) and resilience into urban planning decisions and investments to support city governments’ resilience objectives and strategies. The aim of this guide is to provide varied actors with up-to-date references in order to mainstream DRR and resilience building in their respective activities and roles, including policy formulation, plan-making, setting by-laws and regulations, public service delivery, infrastructure development, community mobilization, teaching, training and capacity building.

The guide unfolds in five chapters. The first chapter sets the scene, explaining key elements of the post-2015 development agenda, particularly the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (Sendai Framework). Chapter Two discusses key concepts related to DRR, resilience and urban planning and explores the relationship between them. The third chapter explains how DRR can be integrated into various parts of the urban planning system and throughout the planning cycle. Chapter Four addresses the vexed issue of financing, and the fifth and final chapter puts forth some conclusions and caveats.

There are a few elements that make the guide a handy tool for urban practitioners. Definitions of key terms are included in boxes where the terms first appear, and recapitulated at the end in the Terminology section. After each substantive section, a set of prompt questions are offered to enable the reader to reflect on the concepts explained and help her/him situate them in her/his own context. These questions are also consolidated at the end of the guide. There are also several case studies, big and small, throughout the guide. More detailed case studies appear in boxes while shorter ones are integrated within the main body of the text. In addition, each section has a list of resources and tools for further exploration, with a complete list of references compiled at the end of the guide.

The report is available here (link)