Theses Master's

Subsidizing the Resilience Commons: A Study on the Community Rating System and CRS Research

Furusawa, Eri

Scalar relationships between different levels of government have significant impacts on local government decision making. The impacts are pronounced in the context of resilience planning, where damage from disasters and local planning activities to mitigate them carry both state- and nation-wide consequences. Through the Community Rating System (CRS), a voluntary element of the National Flood Insurance Program, the federal government provides incentives for local governments to adopt additional mitigation activities that reduce flood risk. To examine how and the extent to which providing financial incentives proves effective in encouraging local governments to invest in resilience building is the underlying motivation of this thesis. This study has two research objectives. The first is to evaluate whether the CRS has been effective in incentivizing local governments to undertake additional mitigation activities. The second is to analyze whether existing scholarship on this topic have successfully modeled the functionalities of the CRS. Adopting a mixed methods approach using GIS-based and qualitative analysis through interviews to local, state, and federal government experts, this study found that local governments’ responses to this incentive are heavily reliant on their resources, geographic conditions and political capacity, and that the one-size-fits-all approach of the CRS created disproportionate impacts among urban and rural communities. Furthermore, findings revealed that much nuance and contextual information had been omitted in previous scholarship that relied solely on quantitative analysis. The study concludes with recommendations for future CRS implementation and implications for planning research.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Urban Planning
Thesis Advisors
Meisterlin, Leah M.
M.S., Columbia University
Published Here
June 29, 2018