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Title: Social vulnerability indicators as a sustainable planning tool

In the face of global warming and environmental change, the conventional strategy of resource centralization will not be able to cope with a future of increasingly extreme climate events and related disasters. It may even contribute to inter-regional disparities as a result of these events. To promote sustainable development, this study offers a case study of developmental planning in Chiayi, Taiwan and a review of the relevant literature to propose a framework of social vulnerability indicators at the township level. The proposed framework can not only be used to measure the social vulnerability of individual townships in Chiayi, but also be used to capture the spatial developmental of Chiayi. Seventeen social vulnerability indicators provide information in five dimensions. Owing to limited access to relevant data, the values of only 13 indicators were calculated. By simply summarizing indicators without using weightings and by using zero-mean normalization to standardize the indicators, this study calculates social vulnerability scores for each township. To make social vulnerability indicators more useful, this study performs an overlay analysis of social vulnerability and patterns of risk associated with national disasters. The social vulnerability analysis draws on secondary data for 2012 from Taiwan's National Geographic Information System. The secondmore » layer of analysis consists of the flood potential ratings of the Taiwan Water Resources Agency as an index of biophysical vulnerability. The third layer consists of township-level administrative boundaries. Analytical results reveal that four out of the 18 townships in Chiayi not only are vulnerable to large-scale flooding during serious flood events, but also have the highest degree of social vulnerability. Administrative boundaries, on which social vulnerability is based, do not correspond precisely to “cross-administrative boundaries,” which are characteristics of the natural environment. This study adopts an exploratory approach that provides Chiayi and other government agencies with a foundation for sustainable strategic planning for environmental change. The final section offers four suggestions concerning the implications of social vulnerability for local development planning. -- Highlights: • This study proposes a framework of social vulnerability indicators at the township level in Chiayi County, Taiwan. • Seventeen social vulnerability indicators are categorized into four dimensions. • This study performs a three-layer overlay analysis of social vulnerability and natural disaster risk patterns. • 4 out of the 18 townships not only have potential for large-scale flooding, but also high degree of social vulnerability. • This study provides a foundation for sustainable strategic planning to deal with environmental change. • Four suggestions are proposed regarding the implications of social vulnerability for local development planning.« less
Authors:
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22246923
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Environmental Impact Assessment Review; Journal Volume: 44; Other Information: Copyright (c) 2013 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam, The Netherlands, All rights reserved.; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS; GREENHOUSE EFFECT; NATURAL DISASTERS; SOCIO-ECONOMIC FACTORS; SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT; TAIWAN; VULNERABILITY; WATER POLLUTION; WATER POLLUTION CONTROL; WATER RESOURCES