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Investigating flood resilience perceptions and supporting collective decision-making through fuzzy cognitive mapping

Mehryar, Sara ORCID: 0000-0002-5755-0869 and Surminski, Swenja (2021) Investigating flood resilience perceptions and supporting collective decision-making through fuzzy cognitive mapping. CCCEP Working Paper (400). Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy, London, UK.

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Improving flood resilience of communities requires a holistic understanding of risks and resilience options, and of the preferences and priorities of different stakeholders in order to design and implement inclusive and proactive interventions. This goes beyond the traditional appraisals and costbenefit assessment commonly used by decision-makers and calls for a participatory process in which various stakeholders are encouraged to adopt a system-level approach in identifying and selecting interventions that can maximise a range of benefits and co-benefits. In this study, we investigate how a combination of modelling and measurement methods can help decision-makers with their flood resilience strategies. We apply a participatory system thinking approach combining Fuzzy Cognitive Mapping (FCM) with a flood resilience measurement framework called Flood Resilience Measurement for Communities (FRMC). In this approach, we first investigate stakeholders’ biases on flood resilience interventions, and then lead them through a system thinking exercise (using FCM and FRMC) to elicit their mental models representing important aspects of flood resilience and their interrelation. The aggregated mental models of stakeholders are used to identify the most beneficial resilience actions in terms of their direct and indirect impacts on flood resilience, based on the collective perceptions and knowledge of stakeholders. We apply this to the case of Lowestoft, a coastal town in England exposed to significant flood risk. Development in close collaboration with the local authorities the ambition is to support their decision-making on flood resilience interventions. We find that the combination of methods enables system-level thinking and inclusive decision-making about flood resilience which can ultimately encourage transformative decisions on prioritization of actions and investments.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2021 The Authors
Divisions: Grantham Research Institute
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD61 Risk Management
Date Deposited: 11 Jul 2022 12:54
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 12:24

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