Wednesday, October 12, 2011

This year UI took both first and second place at the American Planning Association's Iowa Chapter Student Poster Contest. Robyn Fennig won second place for her individual project poster titled, "Natural Hazards into Comprehensive Planning in Southwestern Wisconsin."

Robyn says, "I became interested in the way that Wisconsin localities address hazards in their local plans during my summer 2011 internship with Wisconsin Emergency Management. I learned about some of the best practices in the state, and broadened my understanding of emergency management.

I think this project is important for two specific reasons. 1) Wisconsin's comprehensive planning legislation is undergoing opposition in the state legislature and 2) the state is witnessing increased frequency of flooding from greater precipitation events, just as other states around the Midwest are. Though Wisconsin does not require local governments to address natural hazards in comprehensive plans, most counties have stand-alone hazard mitigation plans to satisfy the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 requirements for federal funding. This study identifies the extent that hazards are addressed in comprehensive plans in southwestern Wisconsin, flood event damages, and mitigation efforts, highlighting where improvements should be made."

Her poster may be viewed here.

(Photo by Joe Szurszewski courtesy of the American Planning Association)