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An assessment of social connections for the community in High River, AB: A perspective on improving flood risk management

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Title: An assessment of social connections for the community in High River, AB: A perspective on improving flood risk management
Author: Sotocinal, Jan
Department: School of Environmental Design and Rural Development
Program: Rural Planning and Development
Advisor: Cummings, Harry
Abstract: In recent times, issues on uncertainty and complexity seem to plague the field of flood risk management. Drawing from the 2013 floods in southern Alberta, the region has experienced an unprecedented amount of rain which resulted in the overflowing of the Highwood river and becoming a natural disaster. Due to this catastrophic event, this research paper argues that vulnerabilities in the community of High River, AB need to be assessed with an emphasis on the social linkages that bolster community resilience. An examination of the regional and municipal planning frameworks and emergency management systems will provide a background on how flood risk management is currently done. Through Key Informant Interviews (KIIs), an analysis of the social linkages and organizations was carried out to determine underlying vulnerabilities within the community. As such, these methods can inform us of High River's social capacity and how these may influence vulnerabilities or community resilience. In order to improve decision-making for flood risk management in High River, social learning can be implemented as a way to increase participatory social capacity building towards improving community resilience.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/16184
Date: 2015
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