Are we learning to make better plans? A longitudinal analysis of plan quality associated with natural hazards Academic Article uri icon


  • Research examining the quality of local planning often treats planning problems as isolated incidents occurring in public decision making. Comprehensive plans and policy statements are evolving instruments, undergoing continual revisions. This article examines the degree to which the quality of local plans changes over an eight-year period with respect to natural hazards mitigation. Jurisdictions in Florida and Washington were sampled in 1991 and in 1999 to determine the extent to which their plans hazard mitigation components changed and to identify factors driving communities to adopt stronger policies. Results indicate the plans of local jurisdictions improved and that legal reform, repetitive damage to property, and citizen participation can facilitate an adaptive learning process. This article discusses policy implications and provides recommendations for improving learning capabilities to prepare plans that prevent natural hazards.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Brody, S. D.

citation count

  • 127

complete list of authors

  • Brody, SD

publication date

  • December 2003