An indicator-based methodology to identify communities sharing similar coastal hazards vulnerability profiles

Authors: Ryan P Reynolds*, University of British Columbia, Stephanie E Chang, University of British Columbia
Topics: Hazards and Vulnerability, Hazards, Risks, and Disasters, Coastal and Marine
Keywords: hazards vulnerability, hazards resilience, coastal hazards, GIS, Canada, floods, flooding, sea-level rise
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM
Room: Balcony B, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Coastal communities are increasingly vulnerable to hazards risks associated with climate change, sea-level rise, and shipping hazards. Many of these communities, particularly small- and medium-sized cities, may lack the expertise and resources to identify and connect with other communities that share similar hazards vulnerabilities. A method to identify similar communities would allow interested communities to connect with such communities to seek guidance from the experiences and lessons learned from other communities who have already implement disaster risk reduction and hazards mitigation planning that address issues they, too, are facing. Our team developed the Hazards Vulnerability Similarity Index (HVSI) as a method to quantify the similarity between communities using twenty-five indicators sourced from public economic, census, geospatial, and governance information sources for over one hundred Canadian coastal communities. This tool allows us to identify from our dataset other communities that match vulnerability characteristics of a community of interest across all twenty-five indicators, or an a-la-carte selection of just the indicators that are most important based on DDR actions a municipality is considering or specific hazards threats they are facing. An online platform we have developed simplifies the process for our community stakeholders, quickly providing them with access to search functionality that addresses their specific needs and puts them in contact with communities that have faced, or are also facing, similar conditions. This approach helps coastal communities connect directly with similar communities to improve their coastal resilience from hazards today, and address the future impacts of such hazards into the future.

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