- Unearthing the Links between Urban Development, Natural Disasters, and its Impact on Urban Sustainability    click here to open paper content136 kb
by    Morain Martin, Nanika & Martin, Hector | hotness_20@yahoo.com   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
The inability of land-use planning to cope with the growth of St. George’s and its functioning land/property markets creates a complex relationship between the city’s level of vulnerability, risks and sustainability to the events of natural hazards.
Obtaining urban sustainability means creating a perfectly resilient city with a spatial form and structure that is in harmony with the natural environment. Indeed, this is utopia, the place where everyone wants to reside but on the contrary our current patterns of urbanization and urban land use does not reflect that. Instead, the processes of development and the spatial development patterns of the urban environment have shown profound shifts in its vulnerability to natural hazards overtime. This being said, it is evidently, the case of St. George’s, Grenada; an urban area built on the hillside of an old volcanic crater with an environment and surrounding hinterlands that has been transformed throughout the centuries due to rural-urban migration. St. George’s eventually became a dense spatial imprint with a planning authority that did not keep pace with the level of urbanization, its settlement pattern and the impacts these processes have on the city’s increasing infrastructural demands and sustainability. The inability of land-use planning to cope with the growth of the city and its functioning land and property markets created a complex relationship between the city’s risk to natural hazards, its level of vulnerability and its incapacity to sustain itself in the event of a natural disaster. This relationship manifested itself in the devastation of St. George’s during Hurricane Ivan in 2004 where much of the city’s infrastructure and development initiatives were crippled. What were transparent were the inappropriateness of the spatial urban development policies and practices, as well as the lack of a diverse urban economy, which in itself contributed to the disaster risks. It is in this context, this paper will seek to investigate the pattern of urbanization and land-use that have intensified the city’s vulnerability to natural hazards, its levels of risk and ultimately its inherent level of sustainability.
Urban Development, Vulnerability, Natural Disaster, Urban Sustainability, Land-use
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