Articles | Volume 11, issue 11
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 11, 2951–2964, 2011

Special issue: Geo-hydrological risk and town and country planning

Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 11, 2951–2964, 2011

Research article 07 Nov 2011

Research article | 07 Nov 2011

Urban floods: a case study in the Savigliano area (North-Western Italy)

C. Audisio and L. Turconi C. Audisio and L. Turconi
  • CNR-IRPI Torino, National Research Council – Research Institute for the Geo-Hydrological Protection, Torino, Italy

Abstract. Flood processes and effects are examined, concerning two rivers in an urbanized area in North-Western Italy (Piedmont – Cuneo Plain). In May 2008, some areas in Northern Italy were struck by intense and persistent rainfall. In the Cuneo province (Southern Piedmont), floodplain with some urban areas was inundated over ca. ten square kilometres, and the city of Savigliano (about 21 000 inhabitants) was particularly hit by flood. A purposely-made historical research has evidenced approximately fifty flood events as having occurred since 1350 in the Savigliano area. Based upon historical data, both documents and maps, GIS (Geographical Information System) technique and field surveys were used to quantitatively assess the growing urbanization of the city and to describe flood processes and effects over years. This work aims to describe the dynamic behaviour of the 2008 flood, also comparing it to past events, in particular those that occurred in 1896. It is emphasized how the knowledge of past events can be helpful in reducing urban flooding.