Building resilient Oregon coastal communities: Reimagining critical facilities through Latinx sense of place

Disaster risk reduction requires the identification and assessment of critical infrastructure that may be impacted during a disaster event and taking proactive steps to mitigate these impacts. Yet little consideration is given towards how systemic marginalization of certain populations may inhibit their access to critical infrastructure. Understanding and expanding our understanding of what is considered “critical” in a community could help build greater adaptive capacity and reduce vulnerability, particularly for marginalized or underrepresented populations. In this case study, we examine how Latinx coastal community residents in Oregon (USA) perceive current critical facilities and their values associated with these places, as well as the identification of new locations that are valued as critical to their community and seen as places they would go to in times of need. Our analysis reveals that hazard resilience planning efforts that focused only protecting current critical facilities without including marginalized community members' perspective, run the risk of creating inequitable access and utilization of these spaces during emergencies. Our results point to the need to broaden the types of facilities that are considered “critical” and incorporating inclusionary policies within existing critical facilities in order to increase communities’ capacity to respond and recover from natural hazards. The aim of this research is to identify systemic issues in resilience planning efforts, not to catalog cultural differences.

Stanton, Katherine A.; Tilt, Jenna H.
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International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, Volume 87, 2023, 103600, ISSN 2212-4209
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