Resistance to relocation in flood-vulnerable coastal areas: a proposed composite index

<p>The increasing number of coastal floods in recent years in France has resulted in the design of new adaptation principles for the most endangered coastal areas. The aim of the government is to reduce the vulnerability of these areas by relocating property and infrastructure. These measures have, however, come up against considerable opposition from the population concerned. Using a survey of 421 inhabitants of Hyères, a coastal town in the South of France, this article proposes the study of resistance to relocation through the creation of an index for resistance that incorporates attachment to place, residential mobility and risk perception. The results show a correlation for the index and distance from the sea that highlights the existence of conflicting interests with adaptation measures depending upon population categories.</p> <p><b>Key policy insights</b></p><p>In France, although coastal flooding risk is a key issue in numerous populated coastal areas, coastal dwellers show little willingness to relocate.</p><p>Resistance to relocation can be assessed through a composite index integrating place attachment, residential mobility and risk perception.</p><p>Application of such an index shows a correlation between willingness to relocate and distance from the sea.</p><p>Conflicts of interest with adaptation measures also depend on the age of the dwellers, their standard of living and on home ownership.</p><p></p> <p>In France, although coastal flooding risk is a key issue in numerous populated coastal areas, coastal dwellers show little willingness to relocate.</p> <p>Resistance to relocation can be assessed through a composite index integrating place attachment, residential mobility and risk perception.</p> <p>Application of such an index shows a correlation between willingness to relocate and distance from the sea.</p> <p>Conflicts of interest with adaptation measures also depend on the age of the dwellers, their standard of living and on home ownership.</p>