Among the many natural hazards that can cause a severe disruption in urban settlements, flooding is the most frequent and costly worldwide. Flood risk is expected to further increase in time, primarily due to the increasing concentration of assets in urban settlements and climate change. Risk identification and reduction are key areas in disaster management decision-process, thus, understanding the how risk is generated and mitigated during floods becomes a critical task.
This project is interested in studying the benefits nature provides to societies during floods and its impact to flood-related risk. A key necessity among ecosystem services analysts and risk planners was identified: there is currently no tool to perform a rapid assessment of flood risk mitigation by natural ecosystems. This project aims to develop and test a modeling approach to assess the flood mitigation service provided by natural ecosystems. It proposes to couple an existing global flood risk model and a damage estimation model to provide a spatially-explicit assessment of ecosystem flood mitigation service and value.