Implementing Disaster Resilience through Land Consolidation

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation


Disaster Resilience, as an important aspect of spatial planning, ensures disaster-prone areas are not used for or occupied by disaster sensitive activities or objects. When incorporating hazard information into the design of a new spatial plan, land use and even property rights will be effected. Often land is in the use and possession of specific persons, enterprises or groups, and the (new) societally desired activities or priorities add to the scarcity. Despite the increasingly accurate information on the hazard and disaster risk including climate change, those with vested interests on effected land, are not easily persuaded to take adaption actions. The property rights of people make the actual implementation of well-designed risk-informed plans difficult. Esp. land ownership is protected in international treaties and national constitutions; even though different levels of limitations are allowed in the public or general interest[1]. Next to expropriation as the most extreme version, reduction of allowed use is also possible, and when little use remains, can even be seen as de facto expropriation. Relocation, even under financial compensation, still affects
historical, emotional and livelihood ties to the land, and might lead to people disapproving, resisting or even fighting the land use changes needed from hazard risk perspective.
Should we not revisit the use of land consolidation to balance existing rights and developing needs for specific locations for disaster risk measures? If so, we need to start with deconstruction and rethinking of what the (exchange) ‘value’ would need to entail in this context (e.g. a house or farmland prone to flooding compared to a safe(r) location).
[1] A short exposé on this can be found in Zevenbergen, J. (2021) My home is next to your castle: Why land law and real estate planning cannot be separated, Festskrift Thomas Kalbro, KTH
Period5 Jul 2022
Event title16th Annual Planning, Law and Property Rights Conference, PLPR 2022: With or without limits
Event typeConference
Conference number16
LocationGent, BelgiumShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • land consolidation
  • disaster resilience
  • planning