First Advisor

Connie P. Ozawa

Date of Publication

Summer 7-26-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Urban Studies


Urban Studies and Planning


Environmental justice, Flood damage prevention -- Oregon -- Johnson Creek (Clackamas County and Multnomah County) -- Case studies, Floods -- Risk assessment -- Oregon -- Johnson Creek (Clackamas County and Multnomah County) -- Case studies, Flood control -- Political aspects



Physical Description

1 online resource (vi, 129 pages)


This study aims to explore the possibility of environmental justice as social consensus and an institutional framework to reduce socioeconomic differences in natural disaster vulnerability through a case study of flood risk management in Johnson Creek, Portland, Oregon. First, by analyzing institutions, policies, and currently ongoing flood mitigation projects, this study investigates how federal and local governments are addressing and responding to current flood problems. Second, through flood expert surveys and GIS spatial analysis, this study examines various factors that contribute to communities' susceptibility to flood risks, and whether there exist spatial differences between physically and socioeconomically vulnerable communities within the Johnson Creek area. Lastly, this study conducted comparative analysis of perceptions using Q-methodology to explore the diverse range of meanings and understandings that flood experts and urban practitioners construct in relation to the dilemmas of environmental justice in flood mitigation practice. The findings of this study indicate that institutional blind spots and barriers in natural disaster mitigation policy and planning can be generated by flood experts' and urban practitioners' different understandings of vulnerability, different interpretations of human rights, and different perspectives on the extent of institutional responsibility to assist socioeconomically vulnerable populations.

Persistent Identifier

Included in

Urban Studies Commons