Resilient or Vulnerable Livelihoods? Assessing Urban Social Vulnerability from a Network Perspective

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 15:30
Oral Presentation
Yi GE, Nanjing University, China
Wen DOU, School of Transportation, Southeast University, Nanjing 210096, China
Over the last three decades, urban growth has been exponential in China: its urbanization rate has soared from 19.39% in 1980 to 57.35% in 2016. Such rapid urbanization has not only promoted economic development, but also led urban residents to be more vulnerable. Crowed cities have incurred a heavy price at home and increasingly inequalities in the physical or social infrastructures, such as housing quality, accessible green spaces and medical services. Meanwhile, accelerating urbanization has exposed a host of environmental and fragile problems of cities. This situation would be exacerbated by climate change. As we known, China’s urbanization is characterized by concentrating a large share of population and wealth along the coast, especially in three large urban agglomerations: Yangtze River Delta (YRD), Capital Region (CR)and Pearl River Delta (PRD). Whereas, these areas are extremely vulnerable to climate change due to their flat and low landscape. In a word, China’s cities have been threatened by multiple stresses from physical and social inequalities, environmental problems and climate change. In order to build resilient livelihoods, it’s imperative to develop the ability of assessing urban social vulnerability. Therefore, this paper explored a methodology of social vulnerability assessment for urban agglomeration from a network perspective. Yangtze River Delta (YRD), Capital Region (CR) and Pearl River Delta (PRD) were used as case studies. Combined with attribute data collected from the statistical Yearbooks and relational data retrieved from the Baidu search index, an integrated social vulnerability index was evaluated for urban agglomeration. The social vulnerability profiles of urban agglomerations were displayed through GIS mapping. Based on the results, a conclusion was drawn that the network connectivity had an influence on social vulnerability of urban agglomeration. Hence, promoting the connectivity among cites can help urban agglomeration buffer risks and plan a sustainable future.