The Role of Knowledge in the prevention of natural hazards and related risks.

Enrico Miccadei, Tommaso Piacentini


Human activities, especially over the last two centuries, have had a huge impact on the environment and the landscape. Mankind is able to control and induce landscape changes but is subject to natural processes and hazards due to severe and extreme events (particularly earthquakes but also landslides and flooding) and related risks. Risks are the result of hazards, exposed elements and vulnerability and they are consequently not only an expression of the natural environment, but also related to human interaction with nature. Risks need to be addressed regularly by means of a high level of knowledge in order to provide most up­to­date information for any decision which needs to be taken by any party involved. A high level of knowledge concerning natural hazards and related risks stems from the geological and geomorphological history and from the historical records of the natural processes and grows with multi­scale, multi­temporal and multidisciplinary studies and investigations, which include land management, economic and social issues. A strong effort has to be made in this way to improve risk assessment and the enforcement of existing laws and ­ if necessary ­ new laws, really stem from recent disasters. This will help to achieve improved and effective land management, based on an interdisciplinary approach in which expert geologists and land managers will play a role, because of the importance of natural processes in inducing risks.


Italian Planning; Italy; Environmental Planning; Development Control; Development Plans; Strategic Plans; Strategic Environmental Assessment; Heritage Management

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ISSN: 2239-267X

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