Flood vulnerability, risk and social disadvantage: current and future patterns in the UK

Sayers, Paul and Penning-Rowsell, Edmund C. and Horritt, Matt (2018) Flood vulnerability, risk and social disadvantage: current and future patterns in the UK. Regional Environmental Change, 18 (2). pp. 339-352. ISSN 1436-3798

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Abstract

Present day and future social vulnerability, flood risk and disadvantage across the UK are explored using the UK Future Flood Explorer. In doing so, new indices of neighbourhood flood vulnerability and social flood risk are introduced and used to provide a quantitative comparison of the flood risks faced by more and less socially vulnerable neighbourhoods. The results show the concentrated nature of geographic flood disadvantage. For example, ten local authorities account for fifty percent of the most socially vulnerable people that live in flood prone areas. The results also highlight the systematic nature of flood disadvantage. For example, flood risks are higher in socially vulnerable communities than elsewhere; this is shown to be particularly the case in coastal areas, economically struggling cities and dispersed rural communities. Results from a re-analysis of the Environment Agency’s Long-Term Investment Scenarios (for England) suggests a long-term economic case for improving the protection afforded to the most socially vulnerable communities; a finding that reinforces the need to develop a better understanding of flood risk in socially vulnerable communities if flood risk management efforts are to deliver fair outcomes. In response to these findings the paper advocates an approach to flood risk management that emphasizes Rawlsian principles of preferentially targeting risk reduction for the most socially vulnerable and avoids a process of prioritisation based upon strict utilitarian or purely egalitarian principles.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Flood Hazard Research Centre
Item ID: 22870
Notes on copyright: This is a pre-print of an article published in Regional Environmental Change. The final authenticated version is available online at: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10113-017-1252-z
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Depositing User: Josie Joyce
Date Deposited: 08 Nov 2017 15:47
Last Modified: 02 Dec 2018 22:22
URI: http://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/22870

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