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Case Study Analysis of a Community in Nova Scotia. Development Trends and Vulnerability To Storms. Honours Thesis Proposal Jacqueline Wightman Environmental Planning Dalhousie University February 7 th , 2013. Photo Source: Environment Canada. 2009. . Outline. Background

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development trends and vulnerability to storms

Case Study Analysis of a Community in Nova Scotia

Development Trends and Vulnerability To Storms

Honours Thesis Proposal

Jacqueline Wightman

Environmental Planning

Dalhousie University

February 7th, 2013

Photo Source: Environment Canada. 2009.

outline
Outline
  • Background
    • Storms in Nova Scotia
    • Coastal Development Trends
    • What is vulnerability?
  • Research Problem
  • Goals and Objectives
  • Method
  • Expected Findings
  • Implications of Study
storms in nova scotia
Storms in Nova Scotia

Nova

Scotia

10 Years of Hurricane Tracks: 1992 - 2001

storms in nova scotia1
Storms in Nova Scotia

Land-falling Hurricanes

100 Years of Tracks in Nova Scotia

Photo Source: Environment Canada, 2012.

storms in nova scotia2
Storms in Nova Scotia
  • Land-falling hurricanes are not the only problem
  • Extratropical storm remnants can also do damage

Remnants of Hurricane Noel (2007)

Damaged property and roads,

Caused power outages to homes and businesses in Nova Scotia

Photo Source: CBC News Online, 2012.

storms in nova scotia3
Storms in Nova Scotia
  • Winter storms can do a lot of damage

Groundhog Day Storm, 1976

Blow to Yarmouth fishing industry

Thousands of dollars of damage to this wharf alone

Photo Source: Fundy Group Publications LTD, Groundhog ‘76

storms in nova scotia4
Storms in Nova Scotia
  • Climate change will increase storm risk:
    • Storm surges will reach further inland due to sea level rise
    • Possibility of more frequent, intense storms
coastal development trends
Coastal Development Trends
  • Number of people on the coast is increasing
      • More people exposed
  • Use of coast in the 19th and early 20th century:
      • infrastructure (wharves, docks, railways, etc.)
  • Today:
      • residential, recreational, commercial and institutional uses
what is vulnerability
What is vulnerability?

RISK is the product of

  • Hazard – How big is the storm?
  • Exposure – Will the storm hit us?
  • Vulnerability – Can we withstand it?

All of these factors determine the RISK of damages

what is vulnerability1
What is vulnerability?
  • The amount of destruction is determined by:
      • Magnitude of the storm
      • Our location in relation to the storm
      • Infrastructure and development patterns
research problem
Research Problem
  • How has vulnerability to storms in a community in Nova Scotia evolved over time due to changes in development patterns?
  • What do these trends imply for future storm risk?
goals
Goals
  • Goal 1: Conduct a historical case study analysis of the effect of land use change on vulnerability
  • Goal 2: Determine how the community can minimize its vulnerability to future storms
objectives
Objectives
  • Map development changes over time including type, density, use and form.
  • Interpret land use change from a vulnerability perspective:
    • Determine and identify vulnerable land uses at each point in time.
    • Identify the damages associated with every storm.
  • Compare past to present vulnerability, and make recommendations based on past trends.
method
Method
  • Chose a community that is vulnerable to storms and has undergone significant land use change.
  • Yarmouth, Nova Scotia
    • Strongly affected by storms
    • Data available
method land use change over time
Spatial analysis of land use change using GIS:

Geo-reference and map

historic fire insurance maps

Aerial photos

Current Zoning maps

Method: Land Use Change Over Time

Section of 1891 Yarmouth Fire Insurance Map Courtesy of Yarmouth Planning Department

method land use change over time1
Categorize buildings based on attributes that affect vulnerability:

Use

Building materials

Permanency

Investment

Interpret change in vulnerability over time due to changes in land use

Method: Land Use Change Over Time

Section of 1938 Yarmouth Fire Insurance Map Courtesy of Yarmouth Planning Department

method storm damage analysis
Create a list of major storms that hit community:

Environment Canada

News articles

Compare storm damages to land use at the time, make correlations if possible

Method: Storm Damage Analysis
method vulnerability to future storms
Analyze current vulnerability to storms

Based on historic trends and

current land use maps

Identify areas of concern

Method: Vulnerability to Future Storms
expected findings
Expected Findings

Historic trends

    • Vulnerability increases as the coast becomes more developed
    • More storm damages in areas where development has changed from infrastructure/industrial to residential/commercial/recreational

Future storm risk

    • Development occurring in a way that increases vulnerability

Change in hazard?

  • Fires more of an issue in the 19th century
  • Flooding a bigger issue today than in the past
implications of study
Implications of study

Understanding the past is key to planning for the future.

Past:

  • The influence of a community’s development on its vulnerability to storms

Present:

  • Trends show an increase in vulnerability, how can we change this?

Future:

  • Climate change
    • increase in storm extent = more damage potential