Building Community Resilience to Flash Floods: Lessons Learnt from a Case Study in the Valles Urban Area, SLP, Mexico

  • Patricia Julio-MirandaEmail author
  • Cynthia Marisol Peñaloza-Guerrero
  • Udo Nehren
  • Alexander Fekete
  • A. Gerardo Palacio-Aponte
Part of the Sustainable Development Goals Series book series (SDGS)


Floods are frequent events in Mexico that often lead to economic losses. Nonetheless, learning from these effects after such disasters that lead to improved preparedness and community resilience is limited. This paper analyzes the Magisterial community building resilience to flash floods. Based on Liao theoretical approach about the key properties of resilience, a survey was carried out based on household questionnaires and expert interviews in the selected study area. The analysis of building resilience community allowed the identification of strategies used to cope with flash floods and identify the aspects that have favored or inhibited the construction of resilience. In order to cope with flash floods, the community has promoted strategies independent of those carried out by the local government, but these do not have a significant contribution to resilience. Based on the results, it is established that the Magisterial community, although organized on its own initiative and having made adjustments through the implementation of strategies to cope with flash floods, is not a resilient community. However, fundamental aspects for the construction of resilience have been developed. A radical change in Mexico’s flood risk management paradigm is required to promote resilience at all governance and decision-making levels.


Community resilience Disaster risk reduction Flash floods Ciudad Valles-SLP 



We would like to express our gratitude to the Magisterial neighborhood for their trust in sharing their experiences and knowledge regarding the floods they have lived through. Special thanks to Juan M. Garay Martínez and Amadeo Carvajal Orta. Our thanks go to the municipal public officials that kindly took part in the interviews. Thanks also to the National Council for Science and Technology (CONACYT) and to the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) for the masters scholarship (ENREM) during which a substantial part of this research project was made, as well as to the Faculty of Social Science of the San Luis Potosí Autonomous University (UASLP), Mexico and to the Center for Natural Resources Development managed by the Institute for Technology and Resources Management in the Tropics and Subtropics (ITT) at the TH Köln—University of Applied Sciences, Germany, for their support for the research stay that allowed us to complete this work.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patricia Julio-Miranda
    • 1
    Email author
  • Cynthia Marisol Peñaloza-Guerrero
    • 2
  • Udo Nehren
    • 3
  • Alexander Fekete
    • 4
  • A. Gerardo Palacio-Aponte
    • 1
  1. 1.Facultad de Ciencias Sociales y HumanidadesUniversidad Autónoma de San Luis PotosíSan Luis PotosíMexico
  2. 2.Department of GeographyBonn UniversityBonnGermany
  3. 3.Institute for Technology and Resources Management in the Tropics and Subtropics, TH Köln-University of Applied SciencesDeutz, KölnGermany
  4. 4.Institut für Rettungsingenieurwesen und Gefahrenabwehr, TH Köln- University of Applied SciencesDeutz, KölnGermany

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