- Development and Application of Environmental Risk Asessment Methods to Planning and Delivery of City and Suburban Development.   click here to open paper content1498 kb
by    Smith, Garry | gsmith@ssc.nsw.gov.au   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
The use of risk assessment methods (a) in the 2000 Olympic Games and (b) to community partnerships in local planning provided a basis for precautionary planning and ESD.
Abstract
The paper describes the application of risk assessment methods to planning the 2000 Olympic Games site remediation and to facilitating community partnering in local area planning.

(i) Risk Assessment Contributions to the 2000 Olympic Games.

Homebush Bay was formerly the sight of indiscriminant and largely uncontrolled landfilling of both domestic and industrial wastes in the 1960s and 1970s. The state government, with the decision in 1991 to bid for the year 2000 Olympic Games, commenced a major remediation programme.

The government decided to apply a risk assessment approach to protection of the health of remediation workers, near neighbours, and future public users of the site. The risk assessment approach was important to worker and neighbour confidence in the project, contributing to the Olympics site remediation project being completed on time and on budget.

(ii) Environmental Risk Assessment in Local Area Planning

In developed nations only an appreciation of the personal impact of our lifestyle will galvanise public opinion to the point where citizen choices and political decisions will reflect the true urgency of environmental change.

We have developed a method for applying risk assessment in regional and local planning. The method was used in a pilot project on the Oyster Bay area, a community of some 10,000 people on the Georges River in Sydneys south.

The risk assessment was accompanied by a prioritisation step which ranked the key community and environmental risks.

The risk assessment process was used as a basis for community planning meetings with Oyster Bay residents.

Two key planning outcomes from the risk assessment-based workshops were:-

h Council planners reported the risk assessment approach as very useful with respect to Council and community understanding of environmental issues and the implications of planning ptions.
h The citizen-identified risks for Oyster Bay showed a good correlation with the Council-identified risks.

These results are important in the light of the need for planning to be based upon good information and the willingness of citizens to participate in plan making and implementation.

The local opportunities identified by the pilot risk assessment exercise include:

h Enhanced equity for the community in the planning process.
h Better understanding of planning options and pathways in light of risk information.
h Enhanced trust between the local authority and citizens based upon clear discussion of risk and planning issues.
h Enhanced capacity for committed partnering between community and the local authority with respect to planning options.


Points of interest are: Description of a method for government-community interaction in planning. Description of Olympics 2000 contaminated public land urban remediation project. Potential for enhanced public understanding and partnerships in urban planning.
Keywords
Risk, Olympics, community
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