Urban flood Resilience Through Flood Modeling, Stakeholder Engagement, and Managed Retreat: A Case Study of Four US Cities

Authors: Heejun Chang*, Portland State University, Arun Pallathadka, Portland State University, Jason Sauer, Arizona State University, Jola Ajibade, Portland State Univesity, Marta Berbes, Arizona State University, Elizabeth Cook, Barnard College, Nancy Grimm, Arizona State University, David Iwaniec, Georgia State University, Carolyn Kousky, University of Pennsylvania
Topics: Hazards and Vulnerability, Water Resources and Hydrology, Urban Geography
Keywords: urban floods, resilience, Social-ecological-technological system, vulnerability, managed retreat, scenario
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/7/2021
Start / End Time: 11:10 AM / 12:25 PM
Room: Virtual 6
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Understanding social, ecological, and technological system (SETS) characteristics of flood-prone areas now and in the future are essential for enhancing flood resilience in many urban regions. While some municipalities have adopted proactive measures, such as buyout programs, such programs' effectiveness with changing socio-demography, urban development, property rights, technological armoring, shifting land-use patterns, and the region’s climate has been understudied. Building upon previous studies that investigated the interrelationships among social, ecological, and technological domains of SETS, we examine: (1) the characteristics of vulnerable parcels, (2) engage city practitioners to identify perceived flood vulnerable areas and compared those with future vulnerable areas derived from street map, and (3) review city governance documents to identify SETS strategies to envision future flood risks in four cities - Atlanta, Baltimore, Phoenix, and Portland, USA. First Street data was used in geospatial analysis and stakeholder workshops to characterize the flood-prone areas and conduct future scenario analysis vis-a-vis current and proposed buyout programs. The preliminary results show wide variations exist between the stakeholder perceptions of flood risks and the projected future flood risks in the First Street data in different cities. The context-specific flood resilience in the future needs further investigation. To co-produce knowledge and inclusive action in the future, our team continues to engage practitioners in our study cities as part of ongoing NSF projects on urban resilience to extreme events and SETS convergence.

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