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Assessing vulnerability and modelling assistance: using demographic indicators of vulnerability and agent-based modelling to explore emergency flooding relief response

Garbutt, Kurtis J.; (2019) Assessing vulnerability and modelling assistance: using demographic indicators of vulnerability and agent-based modelling to explore emergency flooding relief response. Doctoral thesis (Eng.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Flooding is a significant concern for much of the UK and is recognised as a primary threat by most local councils. Those in society most often deemed vulnerable: the elderly, poor or sick, for example, often see their level of vulnerability increase during hazard events. A greater knowledge of the spatial distribution of vulnerability within communities is key to understanding how a population may be impacted by a hazard event. Vulnerability indices are regularly used – in conjunction with needs assessments and on-the-ground research – to target service provision and justify resource allocation. Past work on measuring and mapping vulnerability has been limited by a focus on income-related indicators, a lack of consideration of accessibility, and the reliance on proprietary data. The Open Source Vulnerability Index (OSVI) encompasses an extensive range of vulnerability indicators supported by the wider literature and expert validation and provides data at a sufficiently fine resolution that can identify vulnerable populations. Findings of the OSVI demonstrate the potential cascading impact of a flood hazard as it impacts an already vulnerable population: exacerbating pre-existing vulnerabilities, limiting capabilities and restricting accessibility and access to key services. The OSVI feeds into an agent-based model (ABM) that explores the capacity of the British Red Cross (BRC) to distribute relief during flood emergencies using strategies based upon the OSVI. A participatory modelling approach was utilised whereby the BRC were included in all aspects of the model development. The major contribution of this work is the novel synthesis of demographics analysis, vulnerability mapping and geospatial simulation. The project contributes to the growing understanding of vulnerability and response management within the NGO sector. It is hoped that the index and model produced will allow responder organisations to run simulations of similar emergency events and adjust strategic response plans accordingly.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Eng.D
Title: Assessing vulnerability and modelling assistance: using demographic indicators of vulnerability and agent-based modelling to explore emergency flooding relief response
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2019. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
Keywords: Vulnerability, Risk, Agent-Based Modelling, ABM, Floods
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10082959
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