The Relationship Between Urban Sprawl and Disaster Resilience: An Exploratory Study
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In the wake of ever increasing numbers of natural disasters around the world, further exacerbated by climate change and our growing alarm and vulnerability to them, the notion of resilience has become an important topic within disaster research. Studies have shown an important influence of the built environment, such as urban sprawl, on disaster resilience. This study is an attempt to address the growing danger we face from natural disasters, by examining the role of urban sprawl with respect to community resilience. It identifies indicators and measurements of urban sprawl and disaster resilience with the goal of deriving relationship between the two. Furthermore, the study inquires whether such a relationship varies across different regions in the United States. Using the data from 994 counties in the United States, this study examines associations between urban sprawl and disaster resilience, using correlation analyses (i.e. Pearson’s R, analysis of variance (ANOVA), and regression analysis) The result shows a negative relationship between urban sprawl and disaster resilience, which means that disaster resilience is higher in counties with more compact development patterns. Also, the Northeast region was shown to have a stronger relationship than the West, suggesting that the relationship between urban sprawl and disaster resilience varies across regions.
Lee, Kanghyun (2016). The Relationship Between Urban Sprawl and Disaster Resilience: An Exploratory Study. Master's thesis, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from