A study on urban flood resilience applies an interdisciplinary and catchment-based approach using Elwood, a suburb in Melbourne Australia as a case study. The area is also vulnerable to pluvial and coastal flooding.
Flooding is another threat that urban areas are facing in addition to the challenges of population growth, urban density, and climate change. Storm events are increasing in intensity and frequency which threatens the liveability and resilience of city dwellers.
The traditional approach to flood mitigation where infrastructure designs are based on historic data is regarded as not suitable anymore in the face of new challenges.
Dealing with the uncertainties of climate change and urban development needs a new approach or a new paradigm for land use planning, urban design, and an integrated approach to water service delivery.
It requires cities to implement innovative structural and non-structural measures, a mix of green and grey infrastructures, supported by governmental policies and regulations. An integrated flood resilience strategy that not only improves the city’s capacity to cope with flooding but also supports the city’s liveability objectives by delivering social, environmental and economic benefits.
The paper demonstrates the application of this interdisciplinary and catchment-based approach by integrating results from other disciplines such as social science, urban design, and environmental engineering methods to form an urban flood resilience framework.
The urban flood resilience framework focus on measures to increase flood resilience while delivering broader liveability benefits.
The framework proposes a 3-tier framework for climate adaptation:
- manage the retreat from vulnerable areas and resettle inhabitants;
- accommodate continued occupancy and use of vulnerable areas;
- protect vulnerable areas with defence approaches.
The research provides valuable insight on how to operationalist interdisciplinary work in practice, highlighting the importance of sharing an impact agency, taking a place-based approach, and developing a conceptual framework.
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BACKGROUND PHOTO CREDIT: Melbourne from Ormond Hill by Terry Chapman