Volume 20 Issue 3, 2005

Sometimes it’s a big ask, but sometimes it’s a big outcome: community participation in flood mitigation

Alison Cottrell

Peer-reviewed Article

Archived Article


There are often calls for more community or citizen involvement in planning of all types, including hazard mitigation (Brody 2003, Burby 2001, Gregory 2000, Pisaniello 2002, Tarrant 1997/1998). There are statutory requirements for community involvement in risk management planning in a number of countries, including Australia (Burby 2001, Department of Justice Canada 2000, Handmer and Parker 1992, Kennedy 1991, New South Wales Government 2004, Walker 1979, Zamecka and Buchanan 2000). Reasons for supporting community involvement include informing and educating the community about issues, tapping into community knowledge and possible solutions, understanding community preferences for hazard management equity, and achieving practical and effective outcomes (Godschalk et al 2003). However, there has been considerable debate on the efficacy of citizen involvement in hazard mitigation planning (Burby 2001) particularly from the view of planners and agencies actively seeking citizen involvement.