Spatial Implications of Flood Exposure and Relocation Attitudes among Older Populations in Hampton Roads, VA

dc.contributor.authorCampbell, Jareken
dc.contributor.committeechairBukvic, Anamariaen
dc.contributor.committeememberCalder, Ryan S. D.en
dc.contributor.committeememberShao, Yangen
dc.coverage.countryUnited Statesen
dc.description.abstractCoastal communities along the eastern seaboard are continuously exposed to flooding and related impacts, compromising the health and safety of their residents and especially of more vulnerable older populations. In cases where structural protection and floodproofing measures may not protect households from all types of flooding, relocation may represent the most effective long-term adaptation option. However, the extent to which older residents in Hampton Roads, Virginia are exposed to such flooding is not well understood, nor are the factors influencing their relocation attitudes. Thus, the main objective of this research is to understand both the exposure to flooding and evaluate attitudes towards relocation among older residents in Hampton Roads. This study uses a mixed methods approach to analyze flood exposure and attitudes towards relocation among older adults living in this area. First, a geospatial analysis was conducted to assess the change in flood risk in Hampton Roads over a period of 60 years and exposure to older populations, aged 60 and over. Then the survey data were used to conduct a correlation analysis to examine the relationship between survey responses and respondents' willingness to consider relocation. The geospatial analysis showed that flood exposure in this area does not increase linearly with time, with several block groups experiencing accelerated levels of flood increases from 2000-2060. Most of the municipalities which experience high overlap between flood extent and older population percentages are urban and see dramatic increases in flood exposure from 2000-2060. The statistical results show that willingness to consider relocation is correlated to several variables measuring sociodemographic characteristics, place attachment, and flood exposure, and less to other considerations influencing the decision to permanently relocate. The most influential factors driving relocation attitudes are financial, where residents would consider relocation if compensated or offered similar housing elsewhere. Finally, a large proportion of respondents (40.28%) would prefer to permanently move to either a different region or different state should flooding continue in their community. The results of this study can help community leaders and policymakers to better understand the flood outcomes and assistance needs of their older populations living in flood-prone areas.en
dc.description.abstractgeneralCoastal communities along the Eastern United States are constantly exposed to flooding and related impacts. Hampton Roads, Virginia is experiencing higher-than-average sea level rise, which is increasing flooding and its impacts. This area is also a preferred retirement region, where older populations prefer to move. Older populations are more negatively affected by these impacts due to chronic health conditions like diabetes and hypertension, which require easy access to health care services, as well as mobility constraints. The objective of this research is to identify areas within Hampton Roads that have a significant overlap between flooding and older populations and to understand what factors are affecting older residents' attitudes towards relocation. This study answers the following questions regarding the overall objective: 1) What is the exposure to coastal flooding of older populations living in urban areas in Hampton Roads? and 2) Which aspects of socioeconomic circumstances, experiences with flooding, and flood-related concerns affect attitudes about permanent relocation among older coastal residents? To answer these questions, a geospatial analysis was conducted, followed by a survey analysis. There are high levels of overlap between older populations and flooding in urban municipalities, and flood exposure is expected to dramatically increase between the years 2000 and 2060. From the survey, older respondents favor monetary incentives for relocation as opposed to other factors. The results from this study should be used by local policymakers for more well-informed decisions that incorporate community members in the planning and relocation process.en
dc.description.degreeMaster of Scienceen
dc.publisherVirginia Techen
dc.rightsIn Copyrighten
dc.subjectsea level riseen
dc.titleSpatial Implications of Flood Exposure and Relocation Attitudes among Older Populations in Hampton Roads, VAen
dc.typeThesisen Polytechnic Institute and State Universityen of Scienceen


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