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Sustainability 2017, 9(8), 1394; doi:10.3390/su9081394

Planning Resilient and Sustainable Cities: Identifying and Targeting Social Vulnerability to Climate Change

1,* , 2
and
3
1
State Key Laboratory of Pollution Control & Resource Reuse, School of the Environment, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China
2
School of Transportation, Southeast University, Nanjing 210018, China
3
School of Chemistry and Life Science, Jinling College, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 22 June 2017 / Revised: 1 August 2017 / Accepted: 3 August 2017 / Published: 7 August 2017
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Abstract

This research offers a new framework for assessing social vulnerability to climate change. A social vulnerability assessment trial was carried out for Chinese coastal cities at the county level. First, the 10 factors having the most influence on social vulnerability were identified. They are “House with no lavatory”, “House with no bath facilities”, “Employees in primary industry”, “Houses with no tap water”, “GDP in primary sector”, “Children”, “House with no kitchen”, “Rate of natural increase (RNI), “Employees in management sector”, and “Highly educated”. Second, indexes of social vulnerability, exposure, sensitivity, and adaptability were evaluated and mapped to examine their spatial pattern. The results demonstrate that the distribution of exposure index (EI) is similar to that of social vulnerability index (SVI): many counties are categorized at the medium level while a few counties belong to the high or low categories. The distribution of adaptability proves that it should be paid more attention, as 30.14% of its counties belong to the lowest level. After calculating the Getis-Ord Gi* statistic of SVI, two cold spots and two hot spots are identified. Third, the relationship between urban development and social vulnerability are discussed. During urbanization, there are evident differences of SVI between urban and rural areas. Urbanization can help city districts reduce social vulnerability, while creating more social vulnerability in the coastal counties. For the districts, more adjustment strategies and work should be applied in the dimension of exposure during urbanization. For the counties, the prominent problem to be faced is an increase in sensitivity. View Full-Text
Keywords: social vulnerability; climate change; coastal cities; differences between urban and rural areas social vulnerability; climate change; coastal cities; differences between urban and rural areas
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Ge, Y.; Dou, W.; Liu, N. Planning Resilient and Sustainable Cities: Identifying and Targeting Social Vulnerability to Climate Change. Sustainability 2017, 9, 1394.

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