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Understanding Hazard Exposure for Adaptation in a Climate Change Context

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Climate Adaptation Santiago

Abstract

The literature reveals that marginalized groups are more exposed to hazards at their place of residence than other groups. Given the patterns of profound social inequality in Santiago de Chile and ongoing processes of socio-spatial differentiation, it could be assumed that the residents most exposed to hazards associated with climate change belong to the lower socio-economic strata. The research analysis of city-dweller exposure to flood and heat hazard, using innovative distributional indices, provides empirical evidence that in the case of Santiago residents from all social strata are exposed in one way or another. The present study shows the overall hazard exposure for the Metropolitan Region of Santiago de Chile (MRS), highlights the population groups most exposed to hazards and depicts inequalities in residential patterns with respect to socio-economic status and physical housing conditions. Finally, adaptive measures customized to suit existing legal and institutional frameworks are proposed and discussed in the pursuit of hazard exposure reduction.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    The municipalities of Maria Pinto and San Pedro were excluded from the study, since the data required for an adequate analysis of hazard exposure was unavailable (over 75 % of the population without data at block level).

  2. 2.

    Other indicators such as age, occupational and employment status are not in the focus of this chapter although they play a key role in assessing vulnerability (Cutter et al. 2003; Lein and Abel 2010).

  3. 3.

    Colour television, refrigerator, telephone, mobile phone, video recorder, microwave, PC, car, cable television and Internet.

  4. 4.

    Residents are exposed to a certain degree when their dwelling or immediate surroundings are flooded. In cases where flood water does not enter the house and there is no material loss, they may nevertheless be unable to leave the building to go to work or to school.

  5. 5.

    The official flood maps for Santiago de Chile indicate three levels of flood intensity. High levels of flood exposure refer here to areas flooded at least once every 2 years, as described by Ayala et al. (1987).

  6. 6.

    An average of 3.7 persons per household and dwelling can be used as a proxy for the MRS in 2002 (INE 2002).

  7. 7.

    Yet, non-urbanized areas exposed to flooding were identified in some of these municipalities for 2002. As the analysis of land-use change reveals (cf. Chap. 6), urbanization of flood-exposed land is ongoing, more than 3.2 ha of which were urbanized from 2002 to 2009 in the entire MRS. Hence a greater number of inhabitants could in the meantime be exposed to floods.

  8. 8.

    Alhue, Colina, Padre Hurtado, Peñaflor and San Jose de Maipo, all of which are located in rural environments.

  9. 9.

    It should be noted, however, that surface temperatures often show quite small-scaled patterns of varying temperatures between adjacent housing blocks.

  10. 10.

    In the status quo analysis, heat exposure could not be identified for seven municipalities in the MRS: Alhue, Calera de Tango, Las Condes, Pirque, San Jose de Maipo, San Pedro and Vitacura, all of which are mountainous locations and/or mainly rural areas. Alhue and San Jose de Maipo are hence the only municipalities in the MRS identified as not exposed to either flood or heat.

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Correspondence to Juliane Welz .

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Welz, J., Schwarz, A., Krellenberg, K. (2014). Understanding Hazard Exposure for Adaptation in a Climate Change Context. In: Krellenberg, K., Hansjürgens, B. (eds) Climate Adaptation Santiago. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-39103-3_7

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