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Understanding Flood Resilience in Vulnerable Urban Communities in England

Laidlaw, S (2024) Understanding Flood Resilience in Vulnerable Urban Communities in England. Other thesis, Liverpool John Moores University.

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Flooding is expected to affect more people than any other natural hazard worldwide. Previous research in flood sciences tends to focus on measuring and reducing the risk of flooding, however, there is a general agreement that a shift of focus is required, to more dynamic approaches, such as embedding flood resilience within communities. Understanding resilience is therefore key in aiding communities, both pre- and post-disaster.

Existing literature highlights there is a lack of understanding in the field surrounding the definition of flood resilience and how to measure it. Application of existing methodologies is limited with England, due to differing community dynamics and accessible data sources. Therefore, this study aims to identify factors that may be applicable for measuring flood resilience within the England, utilising lay knowledge from community members with different flooding experiences.

Community flood resilience factors were taken from existing resilience analysis methodologies and other resilience research (n=74) and processed through a 3-stage sift. The remaining factors (n=20) were presented to flood action group members and members of the general public, through random sampling, in areas that had either experienced severe flooding (Kendal, Cumbria) or not experienced severe flooding (Chester, Cheshire), in a questionnaire, including a mix of closed questions (i.e. Likert Scales) and open questions, to allow participants to voice important opinions. The questionnaire was designed to gauge their opinions on flood resilience, previously determined community flood resilience factors, and provide an opportunity to recommend other factors.

Results indicated that whilst the factors presented to participants were believed to be applicable in measuring flood resilience, they vary in importance. Flood action group members rated socio-cultural factors (such as community representative bodies and sense of community) of higher importance, whilst both those who have previously experienced flooding and those who have not experienced flooding, tended to favour physical factors such as efficiency and maintenance of infrastructure. Whilst further potential factors were identified (previous flood experience and flood defences), these may not be applicable in all communities, due to differing local environments/contexts and community compositions.

Therefore, a dynamic ‘bottom-up’ model for flood resilience is suggested, with core factors applied (land use, community composition, resources, and flood insurance), and then additional factors that can be included in the framework, depending on the community and its circumstances.

Item Type: Thesis (Other)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Flood Resilience; Community Flood Resilience; Flood Action Groups
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Divisions: Biological & Environmental Sciences (from Sep 19)
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 30 Jan 2024 15:37
Last Modified: 30 Jan 2024 15:38
DOI or ID number: 10.24377/LJMU.t.00022448
Supervisors: Percival, S and Kiriakoulakis, K
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/22448
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