Kristen Goodrich of CUSA presented at the third biennial Social Coast Forum, an event to share how social science tools and methods are being used to address the nation’s coastal issues. Understanding people—where they live, what they do, what they value—is an important part of successful coastal management.
The first two forums in 2012 and 2014 were standing-room-only events that focused on the application and integration of social science in coastal decision-making. Participants discussed the use of social science tools, data, and methods to address issues such as climate change, land use planning, ecosystem services, and human uses of the oceans. High interest and strong demand for this meeting indicates the relevance of using and integrating social science in coastal management decision-making. The forum was held on Tuesday, February 9 in South Carolina.
The Human Dimension of Flood Risk: Towards Building Resilience in Vulnerable Communities
Kristen Goodrich, Tijuana River NERR / University of California- Irvine
Significant advancements have been made in hydrodynamic modeling for natural disasters such as floods; however, it is vital to better understand how to effectively communicate risk to promote hazard preparedness. Risk perception is associated with self-protective behaviors, therefore, a central concept in understanding flood vulnerability. Prior to development or implementation of any hazard mitigation strategies – planning, policy, programs, projects – it is crucial to first understand the perspectives of those who are most vulnerable. Thus, the Flood Resilient Infrastructure and Sustainable Environments (FloodRISE) project, in a university-community partnership between the University of California – Irvine and the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve, conducted household level surveys – in Newport Beach, California and in Tijuana, Baja California – to investigate perceptions and preparedness in two urban communities. Additionally, in-depth interviews were conducted in the Tijuana River Valley, a smaller, more rural, population. Preliminary results, as well as a comparison between distinctive sites will be discussed, specifically addressing data that speaks to risk perception and next steps for (1) engaging community in the co-generation of local knowledge about flood hazards; and (2) co-development communication strategies that can contribute to more flood resilient communities.