The impact of natural disasters on neighborhood change:longitudinal data analysis
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This dissertation seeks to explore the association between natural disasters and neighborhood change and further to examine the differential impact of natural disasters on neighborhood change according to the disaster itself, the rehabilitation efforts of local jurisdictions, and the characteristics of the affected neighborhoods. Using the longitudinal model, it examines the shifts in neighborhood change trajectory before and after natural disaster for three indicators (home values, poverty rate and racial diversity). The results find that natural disasters have a significant impact on the trend of neighborhood change, reducing variation in the indicators within neighborhood. Home values and racial diversity of neighborhoods are likely to immediately decrease after natural disasters but not to shift in subsequent rate of change,while poverty rates are likely to instantly increase in the aftermath of the disasters and to annually decline over time. This dissertation also explores the differential effects on neighborhood change according to intensity of natural disaster, neighborhoods? average income and the location. The results of the analyses are like the following: 1) the neighborhoods which the more intense disasters hit are more likely to experience the rapid decline in home values and an instant increase in their poverty rates than those which the less intense disaster hit. On the other hand, the more intense natural disasters are more likely to increase neighborhoods? racial diversity than the less intense natural disasters, while natural disasters themselves are likely to decrease it. 2) natural disasters might have the more adverse impacts on low- and high-income neighborhoods than moderate-income neighborhoods and that the impacts on low-income neighborhoods are most severe. More importantly, the adverse impacts in low-income neighborhoods might be long lasting. 3)neighborhoods in suburban areas, compared to neighborhoods in the central cities, are likely to decrease in their home values after natural disasters and to increase in their poverty rates. Finally, the findings of this dissertation confirms its main arguments that a natural disaster affects the trend of neighborhood change and intervenes in the path of change over time and that natural disasters differentially shift neighborhoods according to their characteristics. Further it suggests that these neighborhood changes, once accelerated by a natural disaster, further polarize residential populations on a metropolitan neighborhood scale.