Land use planning for seismic safety: The los angeles county experience, 1971–1994

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The 1971 San Fernando Earthquake increased the level of seismic safety concern by local, state, and federal government agencies, and it catalyzed numerous policy changes by all three levels of government. New demands were placed on local planning and building departments to consider the seismic safety implications of their decisions. This article reports on research that describes how several southern California jurisdictions implemented these requirements and evaluates their success as tested by the 1994 North-ridge Earthquake. The research found that seismic hazard information generally has not affected decisions on location, type, or intensity of land uses unless coupled with other concerns. Seismic safety policies, however, have created an environment in which it is easier to implement engineering initiatives, such as building codes or hazard abatement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)173-185
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of the American Planning Association
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Urban Studies


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