Publication - Research and analysis

Mapping flood disadvantage in Scotland 2015: report

Published: 23 Dec 2015
Directorate:
Environment and Forestry Directorate
Part of:
Environment and climate change
ISBN:
9781785448478

This research identifies and maps the neighbourhoods in Scotland that would be most disadvantaged by flooding.

Mapping flood disadvantage in Scotland 2015: report
1. Introduction

1. Introduction

This report presents the outcomes of the Mapping Flood Disadvantage in Scotland 2015 project. The aim of this project was to provide an up-to-date spatial assessment of social vulnerability to flooding and flood disadvantage in Scotland, to enable local authorities, service providers and other agencies to better target work around flood resilience and response, and in particular to assist local authorities in meeting their duties under the Flood Risk Management (Scotland) Act 2009.

Social vulnerability to flooding is understood as the varying degree to which people's health and well-being would be negatively affected by flooding if they come into contact with a flood.

Flood disadvantage relates to the situation where vulnerable neighbourhoods are located within areas which may be affected by flooding.

The project builds on the first assessment of flood disadvantage in Scotland (Lindley and O'Neill, 2013) and the earlier assessment of social vulnerability to climate change impacts (Lindley et al., 2011). It applies the same assessment framework. However, certain modifications have been made to the methodology applied previously. This includes the use of alternative or more recent social datasets ( e.g. Scottish census 2011); amendments to the set of indicators following feedback from stakeholders; inclusion of the latest flood risk data; and, a different selection of flood return periods in the analysis. Therefore, the results of the assessment of social vulnerability to flooding and flood disadvantage presented in this report should not be compared with the first disadvantage assessment.

The focus of the project is on communities and residential properties, and, in contrast to the National Flood Risk Assessment ( NFRA; SEPA, 2011a), the scope of the vulnerability assessment does not cover commercial properties or economic activities.

The objectives of the project were to:

  • Present the concepts of social vulnerability to flooding and flood disadvantage, and describe the personal, social and environmental factors that make individuals, households or communities vulnerable to flooding;
  • Carry out an assessment of the social vulnerability to flooding and flood disadvantage for Scotland using the most up to date socio-economic data and flood risk data;
  • Analyse the spatial distribution of social vulnerability to flooding and flood disadvantage in Scotland, with regard to urban, rural and coastal areas, as well as the coincidence with the Potentially Vulnerable Areas identified in NFRA ( SEPA, 2011a); and,
  • Investigate views from local authorities regarding the dataset produced and suggest potential uses of the data through case studies.

The report starts by positioning the project within the existing policy context and research ( section 2). Section 3 provides a brief outline of the data and methods used in the assessment. Section 4 summarises the results of the project - the assessment of social vulnerability to flooding and flood disadvantage, followed by case studies for three local authorities discussing their views on the data produced and the possible applications envisaged. The conclusions ( section 5) reflect on the key outcomes and outline recommendations for future work on social vulnerability to flooding and flood disadvantage assessment in Scotland.

This report is accompanied by the following outputs:

  • A detailed methodology document, describing the data used and the stages of the analysis, which aims to enable the readers to understand, evaluate and replicate the method applied;
  • Interactive maps of social vulnerability to flooding and flood disadvantage.
  • The spatial dataset providing information on flood disadvantage with regard to different types of flooding and for various return periods, as well as the disaggregated underlying indicators used in the assessment;
  • The dataset compiling the indicators and indices (in a spreadsheet format) accompanied by a short, user-friendly guide, directed at those who may not have a technical or statistical background;
  • Recommendations report; and,
  • Research findings report summarising the headline messages.

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