Small businesses resilience to flooding in Scotland

A paper on ‘Evolutionary or Equilibrist? Small businesses resilience to flooding in Scotland’ by Fiona Henderson and Geoff Whittam has been accepted for publication in Studia Miejskie, please see abstract below.

Abstract

Flooding is the most significant current climate change-related threat to the UK, yet its impact upon small businesses is largely unexplored. This paper investigates the resilience of a small business community in Scotland that has evolved over decades of trading in a flood-prone area. The development of their adaptive strategies is explored in the context of White and O’Hare’s (2014) resilience paradox, which argues that a lack of clarity in the definition of resilience has facilitated vagueness in policy which, whilst maintaining an adaptive optimistic rhetoric, has favoured equilibrist protectionism over evolutionary and transformative approaches. This tension between the equilibristic approach inherent within the Civil Contingencies Act (2004) and the adaptive responses which the Climate Change Adaption Act (2009) endeavours to promote is considered in light of the experience of the participating small business owners, who perceive their resilience is threatened by a flood protection measure planned by the local authority. This flood protection measure has been developed despite repeated objections by the local community, and this study presents business owners’ feelings that they are not being consulted adequately or their objections heard. The need to engage communities and work together to develop solutions to climate change threats to facilitate community resilience is discussed.

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