Assessing Human Well-Being in the Poyang Lake Region
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A regional assessment of well-being is carried out for 298 townships (administrative units below counties and above villages) in the Poyang Lake Region. First, flood hazard zones are mapped, using an innovative approach based on a digital elevation model, GIS data on levee distribution, and historical data on lake levels. Then measures of exposure and sensitivity at the township level are derived, combining land-use data interpreted from remote sensing images and a population distribution map with the flood hazard zones. Socioeconomic variables from the 2000 census are chosen to best represent the three aspects of development: health, literacy, and income. The assessment indicates that development in the PLR overall is highly exposed and sensitive to flooding risk. Sensitivity is closely related to (and perhaps bound by) exposure, with both rising in according with proximity to the lake. The development level, however, is more closely associated with degree of urbanization, and higher development levels are found in townships closer to county capitals. There are significant variations in different aspects of human well-being among the townships. I discuss different sustainable development pathways for several types of townships and implications for government interventions.
KeywordsHuman well-being Sustainable development GIS Land use Quantitative assessment Flood hazard
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