Defining affordability and adaptation resource prioritisation

Paul Hudson, Thomas Thaler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Across Europe there is an increasing behavioural turn in flood risk management, focussing on individual behaviour and responsibilities. For example, a greater focus on implementing property-level resilience measures. A conclusion from this trend is that there are additional burdens being placed on the residents of flood-prone areas, in the hope of reducing their overall burden; therefore, we must understand the burden that is being created as we can unintentionally create new patterns of inequality in terms of who is and is not protected if certain individuals can be judged to be overburdened. This is particularly relevant in the aftermath of disaster events when there is a push to build resilience. One concept for measuring this aspect of the burden generated is affordability, which seeks to define and measure what a suitable burden on an actor is, and then can be targeted for additional assistance, for example, loans, vouchers, or subsidies to eliminate the burden. The concept of affordability can be used to identify how to best spend resources after a disaster event to support a process of ‘building back better’; however, the way this burden can be defined and addressed can also be influenced by different social justice considerations and definitions. This research explores the implications of different social justice concepts for defining what is a reasonable burden that can be placed on the individuals expected to adapt to and limit flood impacts and on the policy strategies and outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100569
Number of pages11
JournalClimate Risk Management
Publication statusPublished - 8 Nov 2023

Bibliographical note

© 2023 The Author(s).


  • Vulnerability
  • Resilience
  • Preparedness
  • Recovery
  • Justice
  • Flood risk management

Cite this