Exposure to hazards is expected to increase in Europe, due to rapid population growth in urban areas and the escalation of urbanization throughout many countries. In the framework of the European Geological Surveys (EGS), the Earth Observation and Geohazards Expert Group (EOEG) has carried out a survey based enquiry regarding the integration of geohazards (earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides, ground subsidence, floods and others) into urban and land-use planning. Responses from 19 European countries and 5 regions reveal heterogeneous policies across national borders. 17% of the countries have not yet implemented any legal measures to integrate geohazards into urban and land-use plans and half of the participating countries have no official methodological guides to construct geohazard maps. Additionally, there is a scarce knowledge about real social impacts of geohazards and resulting disasters in many of the countries, although they have a significant impact on their national economies. This overview stresses the need for a common legislative framework and homogenization of the national legislations as well as mutual guidelines which adopt the principles applicable to the management of geohazards and explain the process to be followed in the production of hazard documentation. This is especially relevant in case of landslide and subsidence hazards; although those are of great importance in Europe, there are no common guidelines and practices similar to Directive 2007/60/EC on the assessment and management of flood risk. Based on their expertise, EuroGeoSurveys (EGS) have the potential to coordinate this activity in European geohazard guidelines and to promote the interaction among stakeholders.
- Urban and land-use planning
- Landslide directive