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An integrated social vulnerability assessment of riverine flood hazards in Shelby County, Tennessee

An integrated social vulnerability assessment of riverine flood hazards in Shelby County, Tennessee Vulnerability studies are commonly used to inform planning, as cities and regions seek to build resilience to environmental hazards. In Shelby County, Tennessee, socioeconomic census tract data were mapped to identify the socially vulnerable population and places to underpin strategies in the Mid-South Regional Resilience Master Plan (RRMP). While this is an important step in identifying vulnerability in the county, this paper aims to enhance the local analysis through an integrated approach that considers both social factors and environmental hazards in assessing vulnerability.Design/methodology/approachThis paper conducts a social vulnerability assessment by integrating a social vulnerability index with risk exposure analysis at the census tract level to identify the population and places vulnerable to riverine flooding in Shelby County.FindingsThe analysis reveals that social vulnerability assessments that do not relate socioeconomic factors to specific environmental hazards such as riverine flooding underestimate the population and places that are vulnerable. For Shelby County, this has the tendency to undermine the prioritization and effectiveness of strategies to build resilience to riverine flooding and can worsen preexisting marginalization.Practical implicationsThis paper recommends integrated vulnerability assessments for each of the environmental hazards identified in the Mid-South RRMP to augment existing resilience efforts in the county.Originality/valueThis paper enhances the understanding of social vulnerability assessments by consolidating the need for integrated assessment frameworks as basis for resiliency planning. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment Emerald Publishing

An integrated social vulnerability assessment of riverine flood hazards in Shelby County, Tennessee

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
1759-5908
eISSN
1759-5908
DOI
10.1108/ijdrbe-06-2020-0061
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Vulnerability studies are commonly used to inform planning, as cities and regions seek to build resilience to environmental hazards. In Shelby County, Tennessee, socioeconomic census tract data were mapped to identify the socially vulnerable population and places to underpin strategies in the Mid-South Regional Resilience Master Plan (RRMP). While this is an important step in identifying vulnerability in the county, this paper aims to enhance the local analysis through an integrated approach that considers both social factors and environmental hazards in assessing vulnerability.Design/methodology/approachThis paper conducts a social vulnerability assessment by integrating a social vulnerability index with risk exposure analysis at the census tract level to identify the population and places vulnerable to riverine flooding in Shelby County.FindingsThe analysis reveals that social vulnerability assessments that do not relate socioeconomic factors to specific environmental hazards such as riverine flooding underestimate the population and places that are vulnerable. For Shelby County, this has the tendency to undermine the prioritization and effectiveness of strategies to build resilience to riverine flooding and can worsen preexisting marginalization.Practical implicationsThis paper recommends integrated vulnerability assessments for each of the environmental hazards identified in the Mid-South RRMP to augment existing resilience efforts in the county.Originality/valueThis paper enhances the understanding of social vulnerability assessments by consolidating the need for integrated assessment frameworks as basis for resiliency planning.

Journal

International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built EnvironmentEmerald Publishing

Published: May 24, 2021

Keywords: Resilience; Vulnerability; Flooding; Tennessee; Environmental hazards; Social vulnerability assessment

References