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Assessing urban vulnerability related to flash floods under climate change conditions in Istanbul, Turkey

Reyes Acevedo, Martin Alejandro (2011) Assessing urban vulnerability related to flash floods under climate change conditions in Istanbul, Turkey.

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Abstract:Urban areas in many parts of the world are more likely to be affected by the effects of climate change. Because of this, different urban vulnerability assessments have been developed in order to determine which areas are more vulnerable and therefore can be prioritized by policy-makers and governments. However, these assessment studies have focused more on particular hazards without relating it to climate change. This lack of linkage to climate change constitutes a problem, especially in Istanbul, which is expected to suffer from flash flood events as a consequence of climate change. This, together with the weaknesses that the already applied frameworks in vulnerability assessments in Istanbul present such as considering either physical or social vulnerability, call for a need to develop and apply a new framework to assess vulnerability at the local level under climate change conditions. The purpose of this research was to theoretically develop and to apply a framework using local knowledge aimed to assess urban vulnerability at the local level related to flash floods under climate change conditions in Istanbul. For this, two neighborhoods within Ayamama river basin: Ikitelli Mehmet Akif and Ikitelli Atatürk, in Küçükçekmece district, in Istanbul, were selected as case study area. Survey questionnaires applied through interviews were the chosen method to access and collect local knowledge, from which proxy indicators were developed. These were then combined with other parameters from existing literature to develop the framework. These parameters served as input to calculate a vulnerability index using Spatial Multi Criteria Evaluation (SMCE) in ILWIS. Results show that local knowledge in the study area was useful for comprehending the context regarding vulnerability. Also, that vulnerability in the study area is high, with values ranging between 0.79 and 1. The application of the framework in the study area was not exempted of shortcomings which were related to data scarcity, spatial scale, and participation from local people. All these issues as well as the applicability of a framework like this in a developing country are discussed. Key words: climate change, flash floods, vulnerability framework, local knowledge, urban vulnerability assessment, SMCE.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:ITC: Faculty of Geo-information Science and Earth Observation
Programme:Geoinformation Science and Earth Observation MSc (75014)
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