Socio-spatial inequalities in flood resilience: Rainfall flooding in the city of Arnhem

Steven Ashley Forrest*, Elen-Maarja Trell, Johan Woltjer

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

This paper critically analyses socio-spatial inequalities associated with the shift towards flood resilience in flood risk management (FRM) and pays particular attention to the notion of 'living with floods' and its implications for citizens. Living with floods and the narrative of 'surviving and thriving' are emphasised within flood resilience literature, but such discussions often ignore the varying socio-spatial vulnerabilities and capacities of citizens. This paper undertakes an exploration of potential socio-spatial inequalities for flood resilience in the Dutch city of Arnhem, which has recently experienced rainfall flooding and is actively encouraging citizen action in FRM. The paper follows a mixed-methods approach that combines secondary data sources, semi-structured interviews, and a document analysis. Three forms of socio-spatial inequalities in flood resilience were identified in Arnhem: existing inequalities exacerbated by the shift, 'hidden' inequalities in vulnerability that are now relevant due to rainfall flood risk, and new inequalities in capacity to fulfil the responsibilities arising from the shift to 'living with floods'. The paper contributes to wider discussions on the shift towards flood resilience in FRM and helps city planners to consider the interactions between vulnerability and capacity in their different neighbourhoods when allocating public resources.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102843
Number of pages15
JournalCities
Volume105
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct-2020

Keywords

  • Rainfall flooding
  • Flood resilience
  • Socio-spatial inequalities
  • Urban flood risk management
  • Water management
  • Urban governance
  • Arnhem, the Netherlands
  • RISK-MANAGEMENT
  • CITIES
  • VULNERABILITY
  • RESPONSIBILITY
  • PARTICIPATION
  • GOVERNANCE
  • CHALLENGE
  • ENGLAND
  • JUSTICE
  • AGENDA

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