Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Socio-spatial inequalities in flood resilience: Rainfall flooding in the city of Arnhem

Forrest, Steven Ashley; Trell, Elen-Maarja; Woltjer, Johan


Profile Image

Mr Steven Forrest
Lecturer in Flood Resilience and Sustainable Transformations

Elen-Maarja Trell

Johan Woltjer


This paper critically analyses socio-spatial inequalities associated with the shift towards flood resilience in flood risk management (FRM) and pays particular attention to the notion of ‘living with floods’ and its implications for citizens. Living with floods and the narrative of ‘surviving and thriving’ are emphasised within flood resilience literature, but such discussions often ignore the varying socio-spatial vulnerabilities and capacities of citizens. This paper undertakes an exploration of potential socio-spatial inequalities for flood resilience in the Dutch city of Arnhem, which has recently experienced rainfall flooding and is actively encouraging citizen action in FRM. The paper follows a mixed-methods approach that combines secondary data sources, semi-structured interviews, and a document analysis. Three forms of socio-spatial inequalities in flood resilience were identified in Arnhem: existing inequalities exacerbated by the shift, ‘hidden’ inequalities in vulnerability that are now relevant due to rainfall flood risk, and new inequalities in capacity to fulfil the responsibilities arising from the shift to ‘living with floods’. The paper contributes to wider discussions on the shift towards flood resilience in FRM and helps city planners to consider the interactions between vulnerability and capacity in their different neighbourhoods when allocating public resources.


Forrest, S. A., Trell, E., & Woltjer, J. (2020). Socio-spatial inequalities in flood resilience: Rainfall flooding in the city of Arnhem. Cities, 105, Article 102843.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 11, 2020
Online Publication Date Jun 20, 2020
Publication Date 2020-10
Deposit Date May 5, 2021
Publicly Available Date Oct 27, 2022
Journal Cities
Print ISSN 0264-2751
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 105
Article Number 102843
Keywords Rainfall flooding; Flood resilience; Socio-spatial inequalities; Urban flood risk management; Water management; Urban governance; Arnhem, the Netherlands
Public URL


You might also like

Downloadable Citations