Planning for Resilient Cities: Human-environment Transaction Model for Understanding Individual Resilience to Urban Flooding

Authors: Weifeng Li*, Department of Urban Planning and Design, The University of Hong Kong, Jing Song, University of Hong Kong, Jiansheng Wu, Peking University Shenzhen Graduate School
Topics: Coupled Human and Natural Systems, Environment, Hazards and Vulnerability
Keywords: resilient cities, community resilience, urban flooding, China
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/7/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Madison A, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


As an emerging concept in urban planning and management, resilience is widely accepted as theory, set of capacities and strategies to deal with climate change. Nonetheless, the existing literature is still mired in the external environmental factors affecting individual resilience to disasters. Internal factors, especially the personal perceptions of environment, have been largely ignored. In light of this, this study establishes a theoretical framework for the concept of individual resilience to urban flooding. Taking Gongming, a sub-district of the Chinese city of Shenzhen as case study area, the individual resilience performance and its determinants, including both the external environmental factors and internal personal perceptions of the environment, are evaluated. Through regression analysis using a Hierarchical Linear Model (HLM), the determinants of individual resilience are identified. Findings of the study indicate that most Gongming residents are deficient in individual resilience to urban flooding. At the internal level, the lack of individual resilience is attributable mainly to overconfidence, limited disaster awareness and poor perception of the social and physical environments. At the external level, regression results suggest that the social environment of a community, particularly gatedness, is pivotal to individual resilience. These distorted perceptions result in their inadequate understanding of disasters, place and society. This offers inputs for analysing the key factors limiting individual resilience, thereby offering a basis for formulating corresponding policy recommendations to improve resilience effectively. Such evidence-based research has the potential of influencing public policy in urban planning and management.

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