Risk assessment for hurricane-induced pluvial flooding in urban areas using a GIS-based multi-criteria approach: a case study of Hurricane Harvey in Houston, USA

Feng, D., Shi, X. and Renaud, F. (2023) Risk assessment for hurricane-induced pluvial flooding in urban areas using a GIS-based multi-criteria approach: a case study of Hurricane Harvey in Houston, USA. Science of the Total Environment, 904, 166891. (doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2023.166891) (PMID:37683859)

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As one of the most destructive nature hazards, hurricane-induced flooding generates serious adverse impacts on populations, infrastructure, and the environment globally. In urban areas, complex characteristics such as high population and infrastructure densities increase flood disaster risks. Consequently, the assessment of flood risks is becoming increasingly important for understanding potential impacts on an urban area and proposing disaster risk mitigation strategies. After conducting a comprehensive literature review, this study finds that most urban flood risk assessments often overlook urban ecosystem elements, focusing more on social and economic aspects. Hence, the role of urban ecosystems cannot be fully understood. To address this gap, this study proposes a social-ecological systems (SES) flood risk assessment framework for urban areas. Based on this framework, a comprehensive list of indicators collected through a literature review is provided for urban flood risk assessments. A comparative study of flood risk during Hurricane Harvey (2017) in Houston, Texas, USA, is carried out using the improved analytic hierarchy process (IAHP) weighting method and the equal weighting method for indicator weighting. Results are then compared with the damage data of Hurricane Harvey published by the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The analysis identifies that the western part of Houston had the highest flood risks, while the center of Houston was at lower flood risk. Comparisons between the results from the IAHP and equal weighting methods show that the latter produces a broader range of high flood risk areas than the former. This study also highlights the role of urban ecosystems in mitigating flood risks and advocates for more holistic, social-ecological assessments of flood risk. Such assessments could utilize the proposed framework and the indicator list but contextualize these to the specific urban area's contexts being investigated.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:The contribution of Dianyu Feng was supported by the China Scholarship Council (201906200125) and University of Glasgow College of Social Sciences.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Renaud, Professor Fabrice and Shi, Dr John Xiaogang and Feng, Dianyu
Creator Roles:
Feng, D.Conceptualization, Methodology, Data curation, Writing – original draft, Writing – review and editing, Visualization
Renaud, F. G.Conceptualization, Methodology, Writing – review and editing, Supervision
Authors: Feng, D., Shi, X., and Renaud, F.
College/School:College of Social Sciences
College of Social Sciences > School of Social & Environmental Sustainability
Journal Name:Science of the Total Environment
ISSN (Online):1879-1026
Published Online:06 September 2023
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2023 The Authors
First Published:First published in Science of the Total Environment 904:166891
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons license

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