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Type: Theses
Title: Risky environments: governance and adaptation for future flood risk
Author: Niven, Rhiannon Jane
Issue Date: 2017
School/Discipline: School of Social Sciences
Abstract: Modern environments are becoming increasingly risky. Climate change, population growth and the spread of urbanisation have increased flood risks, such that the vulnerability of populations to the natural hazard, and the financial cost of response and recovery have increased in association. In response, flood governance is changing. This study presents the results of a comparative case study of flood risk governance and management that aimed to address two research questions, (i) what are the key challenges of flood management in consideration of the role of the governance framework, local context and stakeholder perception and acceptance of risk at multiple scales and (ii) what are the options for an adaptive management approach to flood? The research design employed components of grounded theory and a comparative case study methodology to explore approaches to flood management in three different case studies across local, regional and national scales: 1) The development of the Brownhill and Keswick Creek Stormwater Management Plan in South Australia; 2) The governance response to the 2011 floods in south-east Queensland, and; 3) the implementation of the Flood Risk Management (Scotland) Act 2009 in Scotland, United Kingdom. Ulrich Beck’s Risk Society (1992) was applied as a philosophical lens to construct the conceptual understanding of ‘risk’. Findings reveal a diversity of approaches to the management of future flood risk across scales. Each case study and scale (local, regional and national) highlighted different aspects and challenges of flood management around the themes of governance (e.g. diffused and unclear responsibilities and accountabilities), adaptation (e.g. relocation, natural flood management and use of landscape) and underlying risk perception. The three case studies together provide a critical comparative analysis of the key challenges faced by managers of flood risk. Concluding recommendations highlight that common challenges for flood management are constructed around: urbanisation; climate change; governance of systems; risk perception; and uncertainty from increased flood risk. The case studies demonstrated that the link between a new framing of risk and the practical consequences for implementation need to be strengthened for effective community empowerment and resilience. Increased community resilience requires multi-disciplinary, cross-scale understanding, where local communities can imprint their values and risk perceptions on the decision-making process. A transition towards a sustainable flood risk management paradigm will be required for communities to adapt to their new risky environments.
Advisor: Bardsley, Douglas Kenneth
Nursey-Bray, Melissa Jane
Dissertation Note: Thesis (Ph.D.) -- University of Adelaide, School of Social Sciences, 2017.
Keywords: flood
adaptation
risk
hazard
climate change
governance
urbanisation
Provenance: This electronic version is made publicly available by the University of Adelaide in accordance with its open access policy for student theses. Copyright in this thesis remains with the author. This thesis may incorporate third party material which has been used by the author pursuant to Fair Dealing exceptions. If you are the owner of any included third party copyright material you wish to be removed from this electronic version, please complete the take down form located at: http://www.adelaide.edu.au/legals
DOI: 10.25909/5b3c65fe3837d
Appears in Collections:Research Theses

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