Articles | Volume 9, issue 6
17 Nov 2009
 | 17 Nov 2009

Integrated urban flood risk assessment – adapting a multicriteria approach to a city

C. Kubal, D. Haase, V. Meyer, and S. Scheuer

Abstract. Flood risk assessment is an essential part of flood risk management. As part of the new EU flood directive it is becoming increasingly more popular in European flood policy. Particularly cities with a high concentration of people and goods are vulnerable to floods. This paper introduces the adaptation of a novel method of multicriteria flood risk assessment, that was recently developed for the more rural Mulde river basin, to a city. The study site is Leipzig, Germany. The "urban" approach includes a specific urban-type set of economic, social and ecological flood risk criteria, which focus on urban issues: population and vulnerable groups, differentiated residential land use classes, areas with social and health care but also ecological indicators such as recreational urban green spaces. These criteria are integrated using a "multicriteria decision rule" based on an additive weighting procedure which is implemented into the software tool FloodCalc urban. Based on different weighting sets we provide evidence of where the most flood-prone areas are located in a city. Furthermore, we can show that with an increasing inundation extent it is both the social and the economic risks that strongly increase.