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An area-specific approach to societal risk

Groepsrisico en gebiedsgerichte benadering


In November 2003 the Dutch Ministry of Transport promised the relevant parliamentary standing committee to conduct an exploratory study on the area-specific approach to societal risk (the probability of accident with a large number of victims) in relation to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport in view of the intended adaptation of the Dutch Aviation Law. This study, targeted at assessing alternatives for the current societal risk policy for the surroundings of Schiphol, led to an initial exploratory investigation on how local societal risk policy could be modelled. At present, the societal risk caused by aviation activities around Schiphol is calculated for an area of 56 by 56 kilometres, making balanced assessments of local environmental planning and safety in the municipalities around the airport impossible. Therefore societal risk was examined from municipal perspective to answer the questions on how different local risks relate to each other and how one can visualize the change in societal risk when new spatial plans are realized? The approach tested in this report is concluded to offer good opportunities, or at least pretexts, for an area-specific approach to societal risk. However, further studies or a follow-up investigation should reveal if a practical and valuable instrument can indeed be developed.

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