Keywords: disaster prevention, hazard reduction, growth management, land use planning, community-based mitigation
The land use guidance system: a disaster mitigation tool for rural communities
As rural communities grow, the need to mitigate disasters and manage growth responsibly increases. Growth management and disaster planning and mitigation strategies designed for urban regions have been adopted by few rural communities in the USA. The Land Use Guidance System, a practical and successful management tool designed and implemented by three rural communities in the south-eastern USA, will be described and evaluated. This tool can be used to reduce hazards caused by unplanned development. The Land Use Guidance System (LUGS) promotes compatible mixed land uses, supports practical prevention measures to reduce hazards, promotes safety, supports open communication and the community's ability to actively participate in growth decisions. These characteristics have been reported by local citizens to make the LUGS culturally acceptable in their rural regions. The LUGS system was selected after communities compared LUGS to traditional urban mitigation methods such as zoning [1,2].