Examining flood evacuation route choices in Kampong settlements in Indonesia

Finding the way: Investigating flood evacuation route choices in kampong settlements in Indonesia

The figure shows the aggregate number of residents’ evacuation route choice in Kampong Terban and Bener (left image) and the space syntax results of Normalized Angular Choice at 400 m radius. The thick lines represent the aggregate number of evacuees traveling on a given route segment. They show that a majority of the riverside villagers evacuate by the shortest and straightest route with the least angular deviation. Credit: Hitoshi Nakamura of SIT, Japan

Emergency evacuation is an important disaster response. Recent frequent instances of natural and man-made disasters require effective evacuation planning. It includes factors such as road network characteristics, road geometry, road risk, and environmental information. Such plans are difficult to implement because of the complex psychological reactions of the people involved during an emergency. For example, in flood disaster preparation, the responsiveness and resilience of a community at risk are crucial. However, little is known about how informal settlement residents negotiate their surroundings during evacuation.

Recently, Mr. Irsyad Adhi Waskita Hutama (a doctoral program student) and Professor Hitoshi Nakamura from Shibaura Institute of Technology, Japan, analyzed the dynamic interaction between human characteristics, road risk elements, and road network configuration in the construction of flood evacuation route choices. The study was conducted in Terban and Bener, which are two urban riverside kampongs (villages) in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Their findings were published in International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction.

Prof. Nakamura reveals his motivation behind the research: “Riverbank kampongs in Indonesian cities have grown spontaneously. Their residents typically include low-income and marginalized people who lack disaster prevention infrastructure. I am interested in how such communities undertake disaster risk management and reduce future disasters. A study on Evacuation measures in the riverside kampongs will provide reliable life-saving operations in response to floods, earthquakes and other disasters.”

The researchers applied a mixed-methods approach. First, they collected extensive data on path risk factors by videotaping walking evacuation simulations. Next, walking interviews were conducted to obtain exploratory information about individual capacity and decision-making. Finally, the researchers performed computational pathway network analysis using the Space Syntax model. The results of these analyzes were combined to paint the overall picture.

Finding the way: Investigating flood evacuation route choices in kampong settlements in Indonesia

Analysis of path risk elements (external factors) from the perspective of evacuees through the walking evacuation simulation with video. The road risk elements of evacuation route form the built-form element such as road network configuration, presence of evacuation sign, spatial connection, road-facing building, and road use and disturbances. In summary, this figure shows the complexity of evacuation route choice that can be effectively analyzed using a mixed method approach to show the influence of the interplay of internal and external factors on evacuation behavior in urban riverside kampongs. Credit: Hitoshi Nakamura of SIT, Japan

Their findings suggest that riverbank kampong residents select evacuation routes based on their individual capacity and the safety performance of the route design. Many of them rely on safety perception instead of following spatial logic. Therefore, their evacuation route decisions may be compromised. Furthermore, the walking interview revealed that men had higher spatial legibility and path safety perception than women in both case studies.

Further, the researchers combined the Space Syntax results with the walking evacuation simulation. Individual evacuation route selection was found to be highly correlated with “normalized angular selection at local radii.”

This implies that a majority of residents prefer to walk on the straight route – with the least angular deviation – to reach the meeting points. Furthermore, according to the personal interviews, the residents have different skills to follow the most direct evacuation route. In particular, physical capacity, gender and age influenced people’s decisions when negotiating risk elements and the safest journey.

Prof. Nakamura points out the long-term implications of the study. “Our study tries to bridge the research tradition on disaster studies, which focuses on the morphological approach on the one hand, and a human-centered approach on the other. Its findings point to a political insight, the routine disaster prevention actions consistent with the socio-spatial profile of the kampong marginalized. The expansion includes not only structural measures such as human-sensitive urban design, legibility of evacuation routes through signs, and the provision of evacuation infrastructure but also community preparedness. These measures should be included in the kampong upgrade and slum lighting. Policy for d “Achieving the SDGs.”

Overall, the study highlights the use of mixed methods approaches and emphasizes the need to consider the human-centered perspective in effective flood emergency evacuation planning for informal riverbank settlements.

More information:
Hutama AW Irsyad et al., Flood disaster evacuation route choice in Indonesian urban riverside kampong: Exploring the role of individual characteristics, route risk elements, and route network configuration, International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction (2022). DOI: 10.1016/j.ijdrr.2022.103275

Provided by Shibaura Institute of Technology

Quote: Finding the Way: Examining Flood Evacuation Route Choices in Kampong Settlements in Indonesia (2022, November 8) Retrieved November 8, 2022, from https://phys.org/news/2022-11-evacuation-route-choices-kampong-settlements. html

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