Exploring a Methodology for Creating Flood Risk Vulnerability of Land Use Classification using Professional Opinions from Municipal Planners and Emergency Management Official in Nova Scotia
While climate change increases the need for disaster prevention, insufficient municipal budgets limit efforts to protect coastal residents. Assessing flood risk using land use vulnerability is useful for municipalities as it identifies areas that should be prioritized. Such methods are already used in countries such as the UK; however, their effectiveness is unknown when applied elsewhere. This research derived a Nova Scotia-wide weighting of land use vulnerability to coastal flooding with the intention of creating a flood risk assessment tool for municipalities. Planners and emergency management officials participated in a survey that assigned vulnerability scores by ranking various types of land uses. Their responses were used to derive an analysis of similarity using Kendall’s Coefficient of Concordance. Additionally, a focus group approach was used where planners and emergency management officials were tasked with devising a collective ranking of vulnerability to determine if this process would lead to concordance in weightings of land use. Results showed that Nova Scotian professionals’ opinions differed substantially for land use vulnerabilities when using the survey approach. In a group setting, one individual could dominate the group outcome despite widely differing opinions among participants. This suggests that each municipality has different perspectives on land use vulnerability. A survey or group meeting approach will lead to a compromise on perspectives on what land use is relatively more vulnerable than another.