Coastal communities are threatened by extreme weather events in the form of storm surge and by frequent, chronic, or nuisance flooding. The physical damage of these events is vast and established in the literature; however, the social-emotional impacts are less well-documented. This pilot study sought to understand the impacts of tidal flooding on flood-prone communities in Queens, NY. Through in-depth, semi-structured interviews (n=9) with civic science participants, we document flooding impacts, identify adaptations to flooding, and examine sources of information about flooding--including local networks and relationship to government. We found that participants are knowledgeable about and engaged with the processes, rhythms, and impacts of tidal flooding. Qualitative methods can be used to surface experiences of living with flooding and therefore inform planning processes. This work demonstrates the need to attune methods and data collection to better capture and understand lived experience, local ecological knowledge, and civic engagement--as these are crucial building blocks for strengthening social resilience. Finally, by rooting the research in civic science and a co-production approach, this study provides a starting point for building shared knowledge across different stakeholders to inform collaborative adaptation planning. Ultimately, we seek to better engage local knowledge -- including rich, qualitative data capturing lived experience -- into adaptation and resilience planning.
Campbell, Lindsay K.; Cheng, Helen; Svendsen, Erika; Kochnower, Dana; Bunting-Howarth, Katherine; and Wapnitsky, Phoebe
"Living with Water: Documenting Lived Experience and Social-Emotional Impacts of Chronic Flooding for Local Adaptation Planning,"
Cities and the Environment (CATE):
1, Article 4.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.lmu.edu/cate/vol14/iss1/4