Capacity building for enhancing disaster management and planning: towards an integrated spatial perspective
Disaster preparedness, management and planning emerged as a main challenge in geography and spatial management over the last decade. The development and implementation of disaster risk reduction strategies and of long-term post disaster measures require a significant educational effort, that should be based: (i) on enhancing inter-disciplinarity, thus promoting the acquisition of transversal competences in the fields such as human geography, spatial planning, urban economics, environmental science and sociology and anthropology; (ii) on fostering transnational co-operation, promoting the exchange of good practices; (iii) on promoting integration between Higher Education Institutes (HEI) and non-institutional bodies, and in particular Public Administrations (PAs), public and private bodies involved in disaster management, and research institutes operating in the broad area of disaster.
The creation of a network of academic and non-academic institutions would enable to operatively foster a shared knowledge, thus helping to fill the gap that currently exists between academies and subjects with competences in spatial planning and disaster management. The training of professionals capable of adopting a broad perspective towards urban adaptation and disaster risk reduction would also be beneficial at the institutional level, helping to integrate the highly-fragmented competence framework.
For these reasons a new and strategic higher educational partnership involving HEI academic institutions from different countries, as well as technical and administrative bodies, is going to be proposed for the Erasmus + programme. The partnership will create a platform for e-learning, promote innovative learning activities for students, researchers and teachers and support PAs in integrating disaster risk reduction in planning strategies.