Walton Family Foundation and the Foundation for Louisiana

A Community-Informed Framework for Quantifying Risk and Resilience in Southeast Louisiana

This study integrates the multi-attributed aspects of coastal risk—economic, social, and environmental—into a unified coastal resilience assessment framework using a consistent set of quantitative metrics. In order to capture the unique local character and priorities that comprise community resilience across different geographies within the region, we have developed a rigorous, replicable process for gathering and incorporating qualitative local knowledge into our quantitative data model. Additionally, we have incorporated a racial equity lens into our analysis, recognizing that communities of color and Indigenous peoples are not inherently vulnerable because of their demographics, but often experience greater risk from hazards because of a history of structural and environmental discrimination.

This report outlines our research process and initial findings and concludes with a set of recommendations for how coastal scientists, planners, and policy makers can apply this research to decision making. Ultimately, this study provides additional quantitative support for planning approaches that are holistic, grounded in local community knowledge, and intentional in addressing social and racial inequities.