Clash of the built and natural environments : a vulnerability index to flood risk in Galveston County, Texas
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Vulnerability occurs at the intersection of natural geophysical forces and human settlement decisions. When humans decide to place themselves and their homes in harm’s way and disinvest in mitigation measures, vulnerability ensues. Human decisions have and continue to play a large role in furthering vulnerability, especially in coastal communities. With roughly 50 percent of the United States’ population currently located on the coast and with rapid development only projected to continue, coastal communities will be faced with a future of exacerbated flood events that will result in increased surface runoff, flooding, and economic losses. This report focuses on better understanding how the build environment exacerbates coastal vulnerability. This research involves the creation of a spatial vulnerability index to flood risk for Galveston County which uncovers the degree with which the built environment is exposed to flood risk and how this vulnerability can be responded to in a manner that builds coastal resiliency.