Exploring local perspectives on flood risk: A participatory GIS approach for bridging the gap between modelled and perceived flood risk zones
AffiliationUniversity of Chester; Transport for West Midlands
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AbstractAs cities continue to expand and climate change exacerbates flooding, development within flood risk zones becomes an increasingly pressing concern. Engineered solutions alone cannot fully address the risks to individuals and communities, especially when local officials and residents have conflicting understanding of the risk. Participatory GIS (PGIS) offers a unique opportunity to bridge this gap by engaging with communities to better understand their perceptions of flood risk. While PGIS has traditionally been used in developing nations as an alternative to numerical flood models, its potential for use in developed nations is largely unexplored. This paper presents a case study of survey-based PGIS conducted in Reading, a large town in Berkshire, UK. Findings suggest that local residents possess a surprisingly accurate understanding of flood risk zones, but discrepancies with modelled flood risk were also identified. These discrepancies may be due to issues with cartographic representation, but also raise concerns about the accuracy of numerical flood models. By examining local perceptions of flood risk, this study highlights the importance of considering community perspectives in flood risk management and offers valuable insights for practitioners seeking to bridge the gap between modelled and perceived flood risk zones.
CitationBullen, J., & Miles, A. (2024). Exploring local perspectives on flood risk: A participatory GIS approach for bridging the gap between modelled and perceived flood risk zones. Applied Geography, 163, article-number 103176. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apgeog.2023.103176
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