Articles | Volume 10, issue 10
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 10, 2081–2091, 2010

Special issue: 11th Plinius Conference on Mediterranean Storms

Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 10, 2081–2091, 2010

Research article 06 Oct 2010

Research article | 06 Oct 2010

Social perceptions of floods and flood management in a Mediterranean area (Costa Brava, Spain)

A. Lara1, D. Saurí2, A. Ribas1, and D. Pavón1 A. Lara et al.
  • 1Department of Geography, University of Girona, 17071 Girona, Spain
  • 2Department of Geography, Autonomous University of Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra, Spain

Abstract. Taking as an example three study cases in the Costa Brava area, this paper examines the social perception of floods through surveys, interviews and Focus Group sessions. Perception is then related to vulnerability, flood management, and citizen's preferences regarding alternatives to curb flood losses in the future. The study concludes that flood awareness and the willingness to take actions regarding this hazard are clearly related to the degree of social involvement with the affairs of the local community. Furthermore, participatory settings such as Focus Group sessions appear to enable a better environment for assessing and implementing flood management options that attempt to modify human activities rather than modify natural processes as has been frequently the case in the past.