Recent urban floods have highlighted the need for integrating the planning of urban water systems with other aspects, notably spatial urban planning processes. A number of worldwide studies have found that water in an urban context needs to be given more physical space than what is currently allocated.

However, attempts to allocate space for flooding events that occur less frequently than the planning cycle of urban development allows often fail. The project aims to address the question of how flood risk can be integrated with other spatial planning and management practices to improve the protection of infrastructure assets and help facilitate the overall objectives of a water sensitive city.

Key outcomes

The project outcomes consist of tools that will enable better land use planning processes in an urban environment by presenting geographically distributed hazard and flooding risk maps, and identifying adaptation options which are based on different factors such as economics and ethics. For the first time, these tools will be able to model both city development and changes in flood hazards that can be used to explore historical and potential future linkages between these two processes.

Researchers are working on developing methods for describing concurrent hydrologic hazards developed in Denmark and to be tested in Australia, and creating a module that dynamically links the integrated flood risk modelling tool with the DAnCE4Water platform (Dynamic Adaptation for enabling City Evolution for Water).

Another outcome is the development of a decision-support tool that can evaluate impacts of urban design and planning on flooding which is invaluable for strategic decision-making directed at improving flood resilience. The tools and methods developed will also enhance Australian state-of-the-art flood risk analysis and mitigation methods, thus enabling better decision-making on local and regional scales and perhaps also facilitating statutory changes in the long term.

Last updated: 17th Jun 2016