A Strategic Approach to Landslide Risk Reduction

Mike G Winter


Rainfall-induced debris flow is a common occurrence in Scotland. While major injuries and deaths are relatively rare the socio-economic effects can be substantial and impact over a wide area, as defined by the vulnerability shadow. The socio-economic effects typically include the severance (or delay) of access to and from relatively remote communities for services and markets for goods; employment, health and educational opportunities; and social activities. A regional assessment of debris flow hazard and risk allows management and mitigation actions to be targeted effectively. In order to aid a strategic approach to decision-making a classification system for landslide risk reduction has been developed. This encourages a focus on the overall goal of landslide risk reduction, what needs to be achieved (the desired outcomes) and the generic approach to achieving that outcome rather than the specific measure or options (the processes) used to achieve the outcome. This approach also provides a common lexicon for the description and discussion of landslide risk reduction strategies, which is especially useful in a multi-agency environment. It also allows a multi-faceted (holistic) approach that is more viable and easier to articulate while helping to ensure that the responses to the specific hazard and risks in play are appropriate. This approach should be especially useful for infrastructure owners and operators who must deal with multiple landslide, and other, hazards and risks that are distributed across large networks.


Debris flow; Hazard; Risk; Management; Mitigation

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