Urban and regional planning systems: A component of mainstreaming fire and emergency management across policy sectors

A three-year research project to identify legal, urban and regional planning and policy and administrative structures and processes to enhance integration of the fire and emergency management imperative across policy sectors, agencies and portfolios (‘mainstreaming’).

The primary focus of the University of Canberra contribution will be on the urban and regional planning dimensions to better enable / integrate mainstreaming of emergency management. The research process will be highly inclusive of agencies and key policy officials to ensure relevance and practicality of outcomes and the understanding of ownership of the research and its outcomes.

The research methodology will involve a comprehensive literature review to examine leading practice of incorporating emergency and risk management into the urban and regional planning system. This will be followed by an audit of current strategic and statutory planning responses drawing on geographically based case studies - Canberra, Victoria and Tasmania.

A national roundtable of key stakeholders involved in planning for bushfire and emergency management will be held in association with the national Planning Institute of Australia and the Victorian Municipal Association of Australia. More targeted focus groups may be conducted depending the outcomes of the research findings.

The outcome of the research will be to identify ‘leading’ practice in urban planning for bushfire risk and more broadly emergency management in urban, semi urban and regional settlements. This will form the basis of an education module for professional and on going training on planning and bushfires risk with application more broadly for emergency management in the context of climate change.