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Challenges for wildfire-prone urban-rural interfaces: The case of Melbourne
Wildfires are an ever-increasing threat for many residents of urban-rural interfaces located in wildfire-prone areas. Spatial planning is an important aspect of contending with wildfire risk, as it has the potential to modify the design, location and characteristics of settlements. However, planning systems can struggle to integrate actions to this end. Using a case-study methodology, this paper reflects on treatment responses to key wildfire risk factors in urban-rural interfaces and the challenges associated with this task. It analyses the case of Melbourne from the perspective of the spatial planning mechanisms addressing wildfire risk that are related to physical structures and the roles of agencies. The physical risk treatment responses are examined considering mapping, strategic actions and decision-making processes. Finally, the following challenges faced by spatial planning mechanisms when addressing wildfire risk are also highlighted: the direct and indirect influence of politics, other planning demands that compete with and slow risk management, implementation limitations, and problems associated with the legacy of risk in existing settlements.