The University of Southampton
Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute

Sien van der Plank

PhD Studentship entitled 'What are the social equity challenges for coastal flood adaptation and insurance in terms of engineering and legal issues facing private dwellings?

Sien van der Plank's Photo

Hi, I'm Sien van der Plank and I am a Leverhulme Trust Doctoral scholar studying within the Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute, University of Southampton

Engineers have to do something now about the risk of flooding and coastal engineering while the social scientist tends instead to just want to study it” (Ball and Green, in Thorne, Evans and Penning-Rowsell 2007) – I hope that through this research project I can bring those fields closer together, and study the risk of flooding as well as get something done about it!

This research explores how housing insurance can play a role in managing the increasing risk of coastal flooding. Despite the government’s efforts to increase building insurance levels, which will allow for claims on flooding, only 64% of households are currently insured. Population groups who are already vulnerable, such as lower income groups, are often among those uninsured. There is potential for the research to develop into comparative case studies of other countries’ flood insurance legislation and management as well.

Under the primary supervision of Dr Sally Brown (Senior Research Fellow at the Department of Engineering and the Environment), I will explore the tensions between equitable and effective insurance, and the effectiveness of legislation to date, in terms of social equity, reducing risk, and effect on shoreline management planning. Professor James Davey (Southampton Law School) and Professor Robert Nicholls (Professor of Coastal Engineering, Department of Engineering and the Environment) will be supporting supervisors.

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