Multi-criteria Approach for Selection of Green and Grey Infrastructure to Reduce Flood Risk and Increase CO-benefits

Alida Alves*, Berry Gersonius, Arlex Sanchez, Zoran Vojinovic, Zoran Kapelan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


Continuous changes in climate conditions combined with urban population growth pose cities as one of the most vulnerable areas to increasing flood risk. In such an atmosphere of growing uncertainty, a more effective flood risk management is becoming crucial. Nevertheless, decision-making and selection of adequate systems is a difficult task due to complex interactions between natural, social and built environments. The combination of green (or sustainable) and grey (or traditional) options has been proposed as a way forward to ensure resilience in advance of extreme events, and at the same time to obtain co-benefits for society and the environment. The present paper describes a novel method for selection of urban flood measures, based on a multi-criteria analysis that includes flood risk reduction, cost minimization and enhancement of co-benefits. The aim of this method is to assist decision makers in selecting and planning measures, which afterwards can be part of either high level scoping analysis or more complex studies, such as model based assessment. The proposed method is implemented within a tool which operates as a standalone application. Through this tool, the method has been applied in three study cases. The findings obtained indicate promising potential of the method here introduced.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2505-2522
Number of pages18
JournalWater Resources Management
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Co-benefits
  • Decision-making
  • Green-grey infrastructure
  • Multi-criteria analysis
  • Urban flooding


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