The definition of safety distances as required by Art 12 of the Seveso II Directive on dangerous substances (96/82/EC) is necessary to minimize the consequences of potential major accidents. As they affect the land-use destinations of involved areas, safety distances can be considered as risk tolerability criteria with a territorial reflection. Recent studies explored the suitability of using Geographical Information System technologies to support their elaboration and visual rendering. In particular, the elaboration of GIS ¿risk-maps¿ has been recognized as functional to two objectives: connecting spatial planners and safety experts during decision making processes and communicating risk to non-experts audiences. In order to elaborate on these findings and to verify their reflection on European practices, the article presents the result of a comparative study between the United Kingdom and the Netherlands recent developments. Their land-use planning practices for areas falling under Seveso II requirements are explored. The role of GIS risk-maps within decisional processes is analyzed and the reflection on the transparency and accessibility of risk-information is commented. Recommendations for further developments are given.
- major accident hazards