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  • Planning safer cities: An ASEAN training course on disaster risk management for urban planning practitioners

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Planning safer cities: An ASEAN training course on disaster risk management for urban planning practitioners

Source(s):  International Centre for Environmental Management (ICEM)

Ensuring safe and resilient urban growth in the ASEAN region is a huge challenge. The region suffers significantly from the impacts of disasters, and this is set to intensify due to climate change. Data in the last three decades show that disasters triggered by natural hazards have resulted in more than 400,000 deaths, 400 million affected population, and US$135 billion direct physical losses in the ASEAN region. Planning Safer Cities is an introduction to a training course for urban planning practitioners in the ASEAN region, designed to improve their capacity to reduce disaster risk in urban areas. Ultimately, the course provides tools to make the cities in the region safer. It covers what disaster risk management is, what building urban resilience requires, how that applies to urban planners and what urban planning actions can be taken.

This training course has been developed to support the implementation of Phase II of the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER) Work Programme 2016–2020, which has identified BUILD SAFELY as one of eight priority programmes. BUILD SAFELY recognizes strengthening disaster and climate resilience of secondary cities as a priority, especially given the rapid urbanization and increasing disaster risk in ASEAN cities.

Download the full course here

The course includes the following items:

Module I: Urban disaster risk in the ASEAN region 

This module contains the following sessions:

  • Session 1: Understanding disaster risk in urban areas
  • Session 2: Disaster risk management and the characteristics of resilient urban systems
  • Session 3: Importance of urban planning for managing disaster risk

Module II: Integrating disaster risk reduction into urban planning and development

This module contains the following sessions:

  • Session 1: National and sub-national urban planning processes
  • Session 2: Land use planning for reducing disaster risk
  • Session 3: Development control for reducing disaster risk
  • Session 4: Greenfield sites for reducing disaster risk
  • Session 5: Urban upgrading and redevelopment for reducing disaster risk

Module III: Integrating disaster risk reduction into urban infrastructure planning and design

This module contains the following sessions:

  • Session 1: Urban infrastructure planning to reduce disaster risk
  • Session 2: Infrastructure planning for different urban sectors to reduce disaster risk
  • Training course purpose: To improve the ability of urban planning practitioners in the ASEAN region to integrate disaster risk reduction into urban planning, thereby helping to build urban resilience across the region. To do this, knowledge and capacity needs building to help practitioners understand risk, carry out risk assessments, and recognize how disaster risk reduction and resilience building measures can be incorporated in the development of urban policies, strategies, plans and projects.

This self-learning course also aims to increase the outreach, sustainability and impact of the training materials.

  • Target audience: Urban planning practitioners including architects, engineers, urban planners, policy makers, academics, government officers and others involved in urban planning, working both at the national and subnational levels within the ASEAN Member States (AMS). These urban planning practitioners influence where and how urban growth occurs but may have limited capacity in disaster risk management, particularly in some AMSs. Specifically, on integrating disaster risk into urban planning, to help the sustainable and resilient development of their cities.
  • The modality of the training course: This cost-free self-learning course may be downloaded and completed independently by anyone and does not need delivery or moderation by a training institute or other organization. The course includes PowerPoints, written and video case studies, handout reading material and activities. The course takes approximately two and a half days to complete but does not need to be undertaken in one go.
  • Training course framework: The training relates to a typical urban planning process relevant to the AMS. The materials are relevant to processes and procedures that architects, engineers, urban planners and others involved in urban planning are familiar with and apply in their work. Approaches, methods, and tools for integrating disaster risk into the various components or steps within urban planning, to improve urban resilience, are provided.
  • Course modulators: The course material was developed by a team of international experts in urban planning and disaster risk management from ICEM, with input from ASEAN-based authorities.


Format Multimedia and Websites
Sub-format Digital slide presentation  •  Digital Video

Other items in same package


Printed documents  •  Booklet (<30 pages)

Target audiences


Group: Adults

Sub-group: Disaster managers


Group: Adults

Sub-group: Community activists, decision-makers or opinion-leaders

Educational usage

educational usage Curricular/Formal
Curricular Careers  •  Disaster Management  •  Social Studies / Social Sciences

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  • Language(s) English
  • Price Free

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