University of Twente Student Theses


Measuring vulnerability to flooding using two indices: A case study of Miami-Dade County, Florida

Milton, Connor (2021) Measuring vulnerability to flooding using two indices: A case study of Miami-Dade County, Florida.

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Abstract:This study examines flood vulnerability in Miami-Dade County on a census block group level from a social/environmental justice perspective and an economic/cost-benefit perspective using two different indices: The Hazards of Place Model and the Tax Income Protection Index. In order to help the adaptation planning process and reduce stakeholder conflict, the distribution of vulnerability in the two indices is mapped to find areas of overlap, which represent areas that multiple parties would consider worth prioritizing. The socioeconomic characteristics of census block groups in clusters of overlapping vulnerability are then examined to determine what factors drive the vulnerability of each cluster. These factors, along with the geographic, physical, and other such characteristics of two clusters of overlapping vulnerability are used as a case study to illustrate how potential interventions to address flood vulnerability vary across the County, particularly between coastal and inland areas. Finally, the distribution of clusters of overlapping vulnerability are examined alongside the boundaries of municipalities within the County to identify cities which have high concentrations of vulnerable census block groups. The study identified 157 census block groups that were vulnerable under both the Hazards of Place Model and the Tax Income Protection Index, this is ~10% of the County total. Of these, 88 (56%) were located in inland parts of the County to the west of the Atlantic Coastal Ridge. Concentrations of these overlapping-vulnerability census block groups were significant in the City of Hialeah, which contained 43 vulnerable census block groups, and the City of Miami Beach, which contained 32. These comprise 27 and 20 percent, respectively, of the County’s total number of dually vulnerable census block groups, and make up 36 percent of census block groups within each of the cities mentioned. The two case study clusters of vulnerability examined were the Hialeah Gardens and South Beach clusters, located in an inland and coastal part of the County, respectively. It was determined that the characteristics of the Hialeah Gardens cluster were better suited to non-physical adaptation projects designed to help decrease the social vulnerability and increase the resilience of the cluster’s population, while the South Beach cluster was better suited for physical interventions designed to reduce flood hazard. This study’s method of using the overlap between different framework approaches to the concept of vulnerability can hopefully be used in a variety of adaptation planning situations where contrasting ideas over who or what is vulnerable and worth protecting are present, and where reaching stakeholder consensus is necessary for projects to proceed.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:ITC: Faculty of Geo-information Science and Earth Observation
Programme:Spatial Engineering MSc (60962)
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