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Natural Disasters: Earthquake in Baguio and Flooding in Dagupan

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These two cities in Northern Luzon were affected by an earthquake in 1990, and the European Commission supported a project to make recovery plans. This project involved preparing structure plans and local plans – aimed particularly at delivering serviced, stable building land – as well as disaster recovery plans, which concerned earthquakes, mudslides, tsunamis and so on. The link between town planning and disaster plans revolved around the tendency for fragile buildings to be sited on vulnerable ground, and for this to cause the worst problems of building collapse and obstruction of escapees and rescuers. So concretely a plan should be implemented so that it can stop certain things being done in certain places – and not just because that is neat and tidy, but because it saves lives.

In this chapter, we will focus most on the disaster risks and how to avoid them, (particularly through a sound planning system). Then I will mention a brief input to an earthquake recovery project funded by the World Bank in Hebei province in China.

An interesting thing about Baguio in a historical context is that it was planned by Daniel Burnham, one of the most famous American architects and planners of the turn of the twentieth century. Burnham (1846 – 1912) had been the Director of Works of the “World's Columbia Exhibition” of 1893, and produced plans for Chicago (which he called the “Paris on the Prairie”), Cleveland (Ohio), San Franscisco, Washington D.C., Manila (1905) and Baguio (1900). See Burnham 1909. The Baguio Plan was able to accommodate a population of 30,000, whereas it grew to 252,000 in year 2000. See Goodno 2004. See Fig. 2.1. This is a plan prepared by William Parsons on the basis of Burnham's plan after the latter's death. Burnham's original drawings are most interesting, but many of the earlier ideas were not realised.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2010

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