Risikomanagement ohne Risikominderung? Soziale Verwundbarkeit im Wiederaufbau nach Hochwasser in Deutschland
Risk management or risk reduction? Social vulnerability and reconstruction after flooding in Germany
Summary, in English
Environmental and climate hazards, such as floods, increasingly cause damages in cities and urbanised areas in Germany. The capacity of the impacted populations to cope with the outcome of related disasters is, amongst others, influenced by their vulnerability. Vulnerability reduction is thus key for creating social or structural resilience. This is particularly the case during post-disaster recovery and reconstruction. Recovery planning is, per definition, supposed to enable improvement, rather than a reconstruction of the status quo. However, which role does vulnerability play in recovery projects, and what kind of a recovery can improved planning lead to as a result? Based on a case study of the flood disaster of the river Danube in 2013, and particularly the Bavarian city of Deggendorf, we investigate these questions. From 2013 to 2018, data was collected by means of a survey, a spatial analysis and qualitative interviews. The results show how particular social vulnerabilities strongly influence the individual access to resources required during recovery and reconstruction as well as the capacity to deal with long-term disaster impacts. We conclude that recovery and development planning needs to acknowledge such vulnerabilities to a higher degree. The article contributes to discussions on the societal and governance causes for social vulnerability and is oriented towards actors responsible for planning and disaster management as well as the increasingly impacted public.