A Balance of Leadership, Facilitation, and Participation
When Federal and State leaders do not require adequate planning for known hazards, there can be little incentive for local government to take important, but sometimes unpopular measures such as land use planning. The feeling for many, perhaps, is that these events are “acts of God” about which not much can be done, and the federal government will have to step in at some point anyway (Stehr, 2006).
Strong leadership must come from the federal and state governments, with firm mandates for effective local plans. Local governments need autonomy and authority to develop local plans, as opposed to implementing imposed state-developed plans. In terms of adaptation for climate change, plans need to follow recommendations for plan quality and citizen participation, with the simple requirement that a certain amount of “freeboard” for hazards be incorporated into the plans. Local governments are likely to need increased funding to facilitate the development of plans.