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01-03-2007 | Original Paper | Issue 1/2007

Bulletin of Engineering Geology and the Environment 1/2007

The Third Hans Cloos Lecture. Urban landslides: socioeconomic impacts and overview of mitigative strategies

Journal:
Bulletin of Engineering Geology and the Environment > Issue 1/2007
Authors:
Robert L. Schuster, Lynn M. Highland

Abstract

As a result of population pressures, hillsides in the world’s urban areas are being developed at an accelerating rate. This development increases the risk for urban landslides triggered by rainfall or earthquake activity. To counter this risk, four approaches have been employed by landslide managers and urban planners: (1) restricting development in landslide-prone areas; (2) implementing and enforcing excavation, grading, and construction codes; (3) protecting existing developments by physical mitigation measures and (4) developing and installing monitoring and warning systems. Where they have been utilized, these approaches generally have been effective in reducing the risk due to landslide hazards. In addition to these practices, landslide insurance holds promise as a mitigative measure by reducing the financial impact of landslides on individual property owners. Until recently, however, such insurance has not been widely available and, where it is available, it is so expensive that it has been little used.

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