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Examining the impact of land use/land cover characteristics on flood losses

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Characteristics of the built environment and overall local-level land use patterns are increasingly being attributed to greater surface runoff, flooding and resulting economic losses from flood events. Specific configurations of impervious surfaces and land cover may be as important to determining a community's flood risk as baseline environmental conditions. This study addresses this issue by statistically examining the impacts of adjacent land use and land cover (LULC) on flood damage recorded on parcels within a coastal watershed in southeast Texas. We analyse empirical models to identify the influence of different LULCs surrounding over 7900 properties claiming insured flood losses from 1999–2009. Results indicate that specific types of surrounding LULCs impact observed flood losses and provide guidance on how neighbourhoods can be developed more resiliently over the long term.
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Keywords: Texas; flood losses; land cover; land use; resilience

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Departments of Marine Sciences/Urban Planning, Texas A&M University, 200 Seawolf Pkwy, Galveston, TX, 77553, USA 2: Center for Texas Beaches and Shores, Texas A&M University at Galveston, Galveston, TX, 77553, USA 3: Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Rice University, Houston, TX, USA

Publication date: August 3, 2014

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