KSCE Journal of Civil Engineering

, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp 683–693 | Cite as

The growth of low-income population in floodplains: A case study of Austin, TX

  • Dalbyul Lee
  • Juchul JungEmail author
Water Engineering


This study seeks to examine the exposure of low-income people to floods in Austin. This exposure of low-income people could financially and psychologically be more serious than that of others because they have less capacity to recover from the hazards. This study conducts four methods to track the vulnerability of the population. The results are as follows: first, property values are lower inside floodplains than outside floodplains; second, many floodplain areas have been developed for multi-family housings, mobile homes, and single family housings in the very low-income neighborhoods between 1990 and 2000; third, low-income people are more likely to live in floodplains, compared to higher-income people and the number has grown in floodplains; fourth, people with the lower income are more likely to live in the areas including more floodplain. The more serious exposure and the increase of low-income people in the floodplains could give a rationale for policy intervention in floodplain management and regulation. This study proposes several policies for Austin to reduce property damage in floodplains, where low-income people tend to live.


low-income population floodplains social vulnerability social impact 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Burby, R. (1998). Cooperating with nature: Confronting natural hazards with land-use planning for sustainable communities, Joseph Henry Press, Washington DC.Google Scholar
  2. Burby, R., Nelson, A., and Parker, D. (2001). “Urban Containment policy and exposure to natural hazards: Is there a connection?” Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Vol. 44, No. 4, pp. 475–490.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Chappell, W., Richard, F., David, S., and Mark, B. (2007). “Determinants of government aid to Katrina survivors: Evidence from survey data.” Southern Economic Journal, Vol. 74, No. 2, pp. 344–362.Google Scholar
  4. City of Austin (2005). Consolidated plan 2005–2009〉.Google Scholar
  5. City of Austin (2012). Floodplain development information, Watershed Protection Department 〈〉 (accessed Jan. 17, 2013).Google Scholar
  6. Comerio, M. (1990). “Seismic safety: At what price?” Proceedings of the 4 TH U.S. Conference on Earthquake Engineering, Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, El Cerrito, California.Google Scholar
  7. Comerio, M. (1995). Northridge housing losses: A study of the governor’s office of emergency services, University of California, Center for Environmental Design Research, Berkeley, CA.Google Scholar
  8. Dash, N., Peacock, W. G., and Morrow, B. H. (1997). And the poor get poorer: A neglected black community, Hurricane Andrew: Ethnicity, Gender and the Sociology of Disasters, Laboratory for Social and Behavioral Research, International Hurricane Center, By Peacock, W.G., B. H. Morrow, and H. Gladwin. Miami, FL.Google Scholar
  9. Deyle, R. E., Steven, P. F., Robert, B. O., and Robert, G. P. (1998). Hazard assessment: The factual basis for planning and mitigation, Cooperating with Nature: Confronting Natural Hazards with Land-Use Planning for sustainable Communities, Joseph Henry Press Washinton, D.C, Edited by Raymond J. Burby.Google Scholar
  10. FEMA (1991). Principal threats facing communities and local emergency management coordinators, A Report to the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations, FEMA, Washington, D.C..Google Scholar
  11. FEMA (1992). Floodplain management in the United States: An assessment report, Vol. 1, Summary, The Federal Interagency Floodplain Management Task Force and The Natural Hazards Research and Application Information Center, University of Colorado at Boulder.Google Scholar
  12. FEMA (2000). Hazards website for fact sheets and other information on natural hazards〉 (accessed March 8, 2005).Google Scholar
  13. Fullerton, K. (1998). “The rent rub: Working poor getting stiffed on housing costs.” The Austin Chronicle, Vol. 17, No. 50, August.Google Scholar
  14. Godschalk, D. R., Beatley, T., Berke P., Brower, D. J., and Kaiser, E. J. (1999). Natural hazard mitigation: Recasting disaster policy and planning, Island Press, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  15. Greene, M. R. and Schulz, P. A. (1993). “Emergency shelter and housing issues: lessons learned from the loma prieta earthquake.” Paper presented for Proceedings of the 1993 National Earthquake Conference Earthquake, The Central United Sates Con., Memphis, Tennessee.Google Scholar
  16. Interagency Floodplain Management Review Committee (IFMRC) (1994). Sharing the challenge: Floodplain management into the 21st Century, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  17. Lee, D. (2012). The impacts of natural disasters on neighborhood change: Longitudinal data analysis, PhD Thesis, The Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia.Google Scholar
  18. Logan, J. (2006). The impacts of katrina: Race and class in stormdamaged neighborhoods (Unpublished manuscript), Spatial Structures in the Social Science Initiative, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, USA.Google Scholar
  19. Mileti, D. S. (1999). Disasters by design: A reassessment of natural hazards in the United States, Joseph Henry Press, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  20. Muro, M., Liu, A., Sohmer, R., Warren, D., and Park, D. (2005). New Orleans after the storm: Lessons from the past, a plan for the Future, Brookings Institution, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  21. Paterson, R. G. (1998). The third sector: Evolving partnerships in hazard mitigation, Cooperating with Nature: Confronting Natural Hazards with Land-Use Planning for sustainable Communities, Edited by Raymond J. Burby, Joseph Henry Press, Wahsington, DC.Google Scholar
  22. Peacock, W. G., Morrow, B. H., and Gladwin, H. (1998). Hurricane andrew: Ethnicity, gender and the sociology of disasters, Laboratory for Social and Behavioral Research, International Hurricane Center, Miami, Floriada.Google Scholar
  23. Platt, R. H. (1998). Planning and land use adjustments in historical perspective, Cooperating with Nature: Confronting Natural Hazards with Land-Use Planning for sustainable Communities, Joseph Henry Press, Edited by Raymond J. Burby. Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  24. Randolph, J. (2004). Environmental land use planning and management, Island Press, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  25. Schwab, J. (1998). Planning for post-disaster recovery and reconstruction, American Planning Association, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  26. Shen, G. (2005). “Location of manufactured housing and its accessibility to community services: A GIS-Assisted spatial analysis.” Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Vol. 39, Issue 1, pp. 25–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Taylor, A. P. (1997). A comprehensive approach to flood mitigation efforts in the austin metropolitan area, MSc Professional Report, Unibersity of Texas at Austin.Google Scholar
  28. Taylor, J. and Silver, J. (2006). From poverty to prosperity: The critical role of financial institutions, C. Hartman and G. Squires (Eds.) There is no such thing as a natural disaster: Race, class and Hurricane Katrina, New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar
  29. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) (2005). State of the cities data systems: Comprehensive housing affordability strategy (CHAS) Data, Austin, 2000〉 (accessed March 24, 2005).Google Scholar
  30. Zhang, Y. and Peacock, W. G. (2010). “Planning for housing recovery? Lessons learned from Hurricane Andrew.” Journal of the American Planning Association, Vol. 76, No. 1, pp. 5–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Korean Society of Civil Engineers and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Green Land and Water Management Research InstitutePusan National UniversityBusanKorea
  2. 2.Dept. of Urban EngineeringPusan National UniversityBusanKorea

Personalised recommendations