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

Abstract

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.

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Correspondence to Juchul Jung.

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Lee, D., Jung, J. The growth of low-income population in floodplains: A case study of Austin, TX. KSCE J Civ Eng 18, 683–693 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12205-014-0205-z

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Keywords

  • low-income population
  • floodplains
  • social vulnerability
  • social impact