Earth Institute Research Projects

The Role of Social Features in Urban Neighborhoods in Resilience to Flooding

Lead PI: Dr. Malgosia Madajewicz

Unit Affiliation: Center for Climate Systems Research (CCSR)

July 2014 - July 2016
North America ; New York City, NY ; New York
Project Type: Research

DESCRIPTION: This study seeks to complement existing efforts by advancing resilience to coastal flooding through means other than engineering. The objective is to identify vulnerable populations and guide the design of interventions to build resilience to coastal storms in urban communities. The study identifies factors that are associated with vulnerability to coastal flooding driven by storms in urban neighborhoods based on evidence from the recovery from hurricane Sandy in NYC. The study will demonstrate factors that have already led to greater resilience as well as sources of vulnerability to provide examples of what communities and government can do to better prepare for future storms.

OUTCOMES: 1) Collected unique primary household data that document impacts of Hurricane Sandy, costs and process of recovery, assistance received during recovery, social networks, and socio-economic characteristics 2 -3 years after the storm in two areas most severly affected by the storm: the Rockaways and south-eastern shore of Staten Island. 2) Identified determinants of social vulnerability to coastal flooding in urban neighbohoods. 3) Contributed to the development of a social vulnerability index for NYC.


The Trust for Public Land


National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration/Department of Commerce




Madajewicz, M. (2019) Characterizing vulnerability and resilience to coastal flooding in the urban context. Submitted to Global Environmental Change.

Madajewicz, M., C. Coirolo (2016) Vulnerability to coastal storms in New York City neighborhoods. Report to Trust for Public Land.

DATASETS: Primary household-level data that document impacts of Hurricane Sandy, costs and process of recovery, assistance received by households, social networks, and household demographic and socio-economic characteristics for a random sample of residents in south-eastern Staten Island.


social vulnerability urban planning adaptation


Modeling and Adapting to Future Climate