Community and Regional Planning Program

 

Date of this Version

12-2013

Citation

Fu, X (2013) PLANNING FOR DROUGHT-RESILIENT COMMUNITIES: EVALUATING THE FASTEST GROWING COUNTIES’ LOCAL COMPREHENSIVE PLANS. MCRP Thesis. University of Nebraska, Lincoln.

Comments

Presented to the Faculty of the Community and Regional Planning Program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for the degree of Master of Community and Regional Planning, under the supervision of Professor Zhenghong Tang, Lincoln, Nebraska: October 30, 2013.

Copyright (c) 2013 Xinyu Fu

Abstract

Recent drought events across the United States illustrate the country’s changing and continuing vulnerability to drought. Drought impacts are often associated with unsustainable land use and poor water management practices, but research has been conducted on how well localities prepare for drought in building long-term resilience through land use planning and what jurisdictional factors correlate with their quality in drought planning. Targeting the fastest growing counties, due to their high possibility in increasing drought risk by making unwise land use decisions, this paper analyzes 61 selected county comprehensive plans from the research sample against a conceptualized drought-ready protocol, and examines whether jurisdictional variables relate to their higher drought preparedness through land use planning. The results indicate that lack of awareness, poor analysis, and weak actions in these localities’ comprehensive plans render them unprepared for drought hazard in the long term. Large variations exist among their plan performance in terms of selected indicators and across jurisdictions. Also, none of the nine contextual variables were found to be significantly correlated with plan quality in drought preparedness, suggesting a complex case for drought planning at the local levels. Finally, local land use planning obstacles are identified and policy recommendations are given.

Advisor: Zhenghong Tang