Flood Resilience for the Transport Sector (FR-TRANS)
University of Bristol: Maria Pregnolato (PI),
Cardiff University: Reza Ahmadian, Man Yue (Arthur) Lam
University of Exeter: Barry Evans, Albert Chen, Slobodan Djordjevic
The scale, frequency and severity of natural disasters have risen progressively over the last 20 years, and it is likely to increase due to rapid urbanisation and climate change. At present, flooding and weather-related hazards affect the greatest number of people (2 billion between 2000 and 2009) worldwide; global losses over the same period averaged US$100 billion per annum. The rapidly escalating cost of disasters is an increasing cause for concern for governments, but the true costs of a disaster are felt most acutely at community level and are determined by the community’s ability to absorb the impact and recover after the event. Increasing the resilience of infrastructure reduces the impact of natural hazards and enhance the ability to recover, since infrastructural systems are the backbone of contemporary societies. Investments in resilience is more cost-effective long-term than dealing with the consequences of natural hazards; however, few measures have been implemented so far in cities.
The community brought together academics with complementary skills in modelling flood risk to deliver a specific piece of research which demonstrated how urban resilience can be achieved. The research was in collaboration with Devon Country Council, and produced a case study focused on the impact of flooding to the transport network of Exeter; including assessing risks to the stability of vehicles and pedestrians in flood water, developing a model accounting for both traffic and flood dynamics and developing an evacuation plan for pedestrians. The results of this research were presented at a stakeholder workshop which helped the community engage with a wider network of academics in urban resilience and begin building multi-institutional collaborations. The research has also been presented at conferences, and the community are planning another workshop to reach more stakeholders and partners within the water sector and beyond.