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Disruption and adaptation of urban transport networks from flooding

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Maria Pregnolato, Dr Alistair FordORCiD, Professor Richard DawsonORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2016 The Authors, published by EDP Sciences.Transport infrastructure networks are increasingly vulnerable to disruption from extreme rainfall events due to increasing surface water runoff from urbanization and changes in climate. Impacts from such disruptions typically extend far beyond the flood footprint, because of the interconnection and spatial extent of modern infrastructure. An integrated flood risk assessment couples high resolution information on depth and velocity from the CityCAT urban flood model with empirical analysis of vehicle speeds in different depths of flood water, to perturb a transport accessibility model and determine the impact of a given event on journey times across the urban area. A case study in Newcastle-upon-Tyne (UK) shows that even minor flooding associate with a 1 in 10 year event can cause traffic disruptions of nearly half an hour. Two adaptation scenarios are subsequently tested (i) hardening (i.e. flood protection) a single major junction, (ii) introduction of green roofs across all buildings. Both options have benefits in terms of reduced disruption, but for a 1 in 200 year event greening all roofs in the city provided only three times the benefit of protecting one critical road junction, highlighting the importance of understanding network attributes such as capacity and flows.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Pregnolato M, Ford A, Dawson R

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: 3rd European Conference on Flood Risk Management (FLOODrisk 2016)

Year of Conference: 2016

Pages: 07006-07006

Online publication date: 20/10/2016

Acceptance date: 02/04/2016

Date deposited: 03/05/2017

Publisher: EDP Sciences


DOI: 10.1051/e3sconf/20160707006

Series Title: E3S Web of Conferences