Capturing the multifaceted phenomena of socioeconomic vulnerability
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Natural hazards (2018)

Vulnerability and disaster risk assessment has been evaluated from different perspectives with focus on global or national scale. There is a lack of methodologies on city scale, which are able to capture inner-city disparities with regard to socioeconomic aspects. Therefore, the main objective was to develop a transparent and comprehensive indicator-based approach which is flexible in terms of data availability and is not tied to a specific case study side. This research proposes two flexible methodological approaches on how to perform socioeconomic vulnerability assessment. Susceptibility, Coping and Adaptation are the main elements of a modular hierarchical structure to capture the societal sphere of vulnerability. The first method is completely based on official census data at block scale. The second method is an expansion and includes data derived from a field survey to add components of risk perception. The proposed methodologies were developed and applied in the city of Genoa (Italy). The results are displayed spatially explicit on maps. Furthermore statistical analysis, to reveal the driving forces which influence vulnerability, was performed. The census-based approach revealed that vulnerability is forced along the river by the inherent susceptibility, as well as the lack of adaptation. The two approaches can be used effectively in gaining different insights. The flexibility of the framework proved to be suitable to the objective of the research. However, the values computed in this research do not claim completeness, and the aim was to provide useful information for stakeholders in decision making process to reduce vulnerability and risk.
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