The role of household adaptation measures in reducing vulnerability to flooding: A coupled agent-based and flood modelling approach

Yared Abayneh Abebe, Amineh Ghorbani, Igor Nikolic, Natasa Manojlovic, Angelika Gruhn, Zoran Vojinovic

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Abstract

Flood adaptation measures implemented at the household level play an important role in reducing communities' vulnerability. The aim of this study is to enhance the current modelling practices of human-flood interaction to draw new insights for flood risk management (FRM) policy design. The paper presents a coupled agent-based and flood model for the case of Hamburg, Germany, to explore how individual adaptation behaviour is influenced by flood event scenarios, economic incentives and shared and individual strategies. Simulation results show that a unique trajectory of adaptation measures and flood damages emerges from different flood event series. Another finding is that providing subsidies increases the number of coping households in the long run. Households' social network also has a strong influence on their coping behaviour. The paper also highlights the role of simple measures such as adapted furnishings, which do not incur any monetary cost, in reducing households' vulnerability and preventing millions of euros of contents damages. Generally, we demonstrate that coupled agent-based and flood models can potentially be used as decision support tools to examine the role of household adaptation measures in flood risk management. Although the findings of the paper are case-specific, the improved modelling approach shows the potential to be applied in testing policy levers and strategies considering heterogeneous individual behaviours.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5329-5354
Number of pages26
JournalHydrology and Earth System Sciences
Volume24
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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