In this chapter we compare and evaluate two systems of governance for planning and managing urban development in areas at risk from natural hazards. Command-and-control systems feature a high degree of prescription and coercion by higher-level governments to put in place local planning processes that emphasize technical rationality in identifying and overcoming barriers to mitigation. Cooperative systems feature a high degree of flexibility and use of incentives by higher-level governments to put in place local planning processes that emphasize communicative rationality by increasing community understanding of and political support for safe development patterns and building standards. Our empirical analysis of planning systems in the United States and Australia finds merit in aspects of each system. We conclude that hybrid central government mandates are needed to harness the ability of command-and-control policy designs to bring about local government participation in hazard mitigation planning with the ability of cooperative designs to build community understanding of problems and support for their solution.
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