The impact of extreme weather events on community risk planning and management: the case of San Juan, Puerto Rico after hurricane Maria


  • Luis Santiago University of Central Florida, School of Public Administration
  • David Flores USDA Forest Service
  • Chang-Yu Hong Jeju Research Institute


Community Risk Planning, City Livability, Community-based Flood Control, Perception Assessment


Top down, technical or engineered solutions to deal with flood control such as channelization are increasingly unaffordable. We explored how community leaders’ frame the concept of risk, particularly due to flooding, and documented bottom-up rather than top-down solutions within the context of Hurricane Maria and the current financial crisis. This research aims to interview environmental conservation organizational leaders to assess the broader question of what makes San Juan livable, and the role that flooding risk management plays in defining livability. Their perception of bottom-up approaches for flood control, including the role of green infrastructure, is of particular interest given the infeasibility of current engineered measures and their history of short term local coping strategies. Our research team frames the research using structural versus non-structural solutions to explore to what extent community leaders draw upon green visions of the city or emphasize transitioning towards strategies more closely aligned with ecological processes and functions. The research results can help inform current efforts to engage communities at the local level about alternative solutions to channelization and other urban flood management measures.


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Santiago, L., Flores, D., & Hong, C.-Y. (2020). The impact of extreme weather events on community risk planning and management: the case of San Juan, Puerto Rico after hurricane Maria. Revista Brasileira De Gestão Urbana, 12. Recuperado de