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

This paper investigates how methods used to model perceptions and measure resilience can help decision-makers create inclusive and proactive flood resilience strategies for communities. Such interventions can only be designed through building a holistic understanding of the options available, and of the preferences and priorities of different stakeholders. This approach goes beyond the traditional appraisals and cost–benefit assessments commonly used by decision-makers. In this study, which is based on research in Lowestoft, a coastal town in England exposed to significant flood risk, the authors first use mind maps to investigate stakeholders’ biases around flood resilience interventions and then lead them through an exercise to understand how they perceive various aspects of flood resilience and how they interrelate. The collective perceptions and knowledge of stakeholders are then used to identify the most important actions for increasing flood resilience. The authors find that combining a mind mapping method with a flood resilience measurement framework enables system-level thinking and inclusive decision-making about flood resilience. Ultimately, this can encourage transformative decisions on the prioritisation of actions and investments.

Mehryar, Sara; Surminski, Swenja

Language: English
Published By: London School of Economics and Political Science
Published date: December 2021

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