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The influence of community size and location on different dimensions of vulnerability: a case study of Australian coastal communities

van Putten, I, Villanueva, C ORCID: 0000-0001-9694-3131 and Cvitanovic, C ORCID: 0000-0002-2565-3396 2017 , 'The influence of community size and location on different dimensions of vulnerability: a case study of Australian coastal communities' , Australian Geographer, vol. 48, no. 1 , pp. 121-142 , doi:

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Coastal communities are part of the Australian identity but little is known about their characteristics and their long-term prosperity prospects. Increased migration to coastal areas and increased exposure to extreme climatic events indicates a need for social and economic data to inform socio-ecological systems planning. Here, we undertake a geo-spatial analysis to develop a typology of Australian coastal communities and assess relative vulnerability to climate-driven environmental change for a range of social and economic indicators. The aim of this study is to understand how the vulnerability of Australian coastal communities varies with geographic location or community size, and in comparison to other community types. Results show that both the population size and location of a coastal community matter and that coastal communities overall are more vulnerable on some socio-economic dimensions to climate-driven environmental change than their rural equivalents. However, results also demonstrate that the smallest coastal communities are strong in some important aspects of the human, social and financial domains, putting them in a good position to deal with some changes. Scale-appropriate and context-specific social policies are needed to address identified socio-economic vulnerabilities, supported by a range of formal and informal institutional structures, such as strategies to improve education and female workforce participation, and encourage participation in volunteering to increase human and social capital.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:van Putten, I and Villanueva, C and Cvitanovic, C
Keywords: Coastal communities, vulnerability, sustainable livelihood, community typology, human capital, social capital
Journal or Publication Title: Australian Geographer
Publisher: Carfax Publishing
ISSN: 0004-9182
DOI / ID Number:
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2016 Geographical Society of New South Wales Inc.

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