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Mainstreaming Risk Assessment into Spatial planning for Risk Reduction: Case Study of Urban Flood in Alexandria, Egypt

Esmaiel, Aly Mohammed Rashad Aly Abdallaa (2020) Mainstreaming Risk Assessment into Spatial planning for Risk Reduction: Case Study of Urban Flood in Alexandria, Egypt.

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Abstract:The global urbanization trends go hand in hand with the escalating risk from natural hazards owing to climate change. Spatial planning has great potentials in reducing the risk of natural hazards by disentangling the conflict between where people live and where natural hazards hit. Though the globally ascending recognition of the spatial planning role in this endeavor, the followed planning practices in the developing countries rarely contribute to risk reduction. This was owed to deficiencies in these practices as they lack the proper methods for analyzing and understanding risk. On the other hand, risk assessment excels in providing the risk management process with the required analysis to comprehend the natural hazard risk and act accordingly. Thus, the inclusion of risk assessment in the spatial planning process will increase its capacity to comprehend risk and produce proper plans. The conducted spatial plans in Egypt have minimal influence on risk reduction. Thus, the main aim of this research is to demonstrate how risk assessment can be mainstreamed in the mechanism of the spatial planning framework in Egypt to improve risk reduction. Alexandria city was taken as a case study for this demonstration as the city possesses economic and historical importance, as well as its high exposure to urban flood owing to extreme rainfall events. A questionnaire was directed to the spatial planning experts in Egypt to draw a holistic description of the current relations between spatial planning, risk reduction, and the extent of utilizing the risk assessment as a planning tool. Urban flood simulation was provided for analyzing the extreme event of rainfalls in Alexandria on the 4th of November 2015. Additionally, the Principal Component Analysis (PCA) was used to conduct a multidimensional vulnerability assessment for the physical, social, and economic dimensions. Thus, the available institutional databases in Egypt, such as census and city’s physical geodatabase, were used on the level of the smallest administrative units named Shyakha. Risk is an outcome of combing the maximum flood depth in each Shyakha and its aggregated vulnerability score from the three vulnerability dimensions. Respectively, risk mapping and statistical analysis were used to demonstrate the variations in risk between Shyakha units. The questionnaire’s participants perceive risk reduction as one of the planning goals. However, it was confirmed that risk assessment is not used as a planning tool. The provided hazard information for planning purposes was found to be scarce, while the available institutional databases are sufficient to obtain the hazard information. The experts highlighted the obstacles as well as possible improvements of risk assessment integration into spatial planning. These obstacles and improvements were grouped into aspects that relate to 1) methods, 2) data, 3) communication, 4) institutional integration, 5) funds, 6) expertise and knowledge, and 7) laws and regulation. PCA utilized 38 indicators distributed on three vulnerability dimensions, while the process eliminated 20 indicators. El-Gomrok neighborhood (the oldest in Alexandria city), contains the units with the highest vulnerability. The hazard and the vulnerability combination revealed that the highest risk in the city was a combination of middle values of hazard and vulnerability, which are located in the units of El-Montazah neighborhood. Several mainstreaming strategies were followed worldwide to adopt new goals within a functioning organization, and these strategies need to be adopted in Egypt to address the 7 aspects of obstacles and improvements and to consider the implementation of objective methods to increase transparency and clarity of the assessment’s results and the decisions that follow them.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:ITC: Faculty of Geo-information Science and Earth Observation
Subject:43 environmental science
Programme:Geoinformation Science and Earth Observation MSc (75014)
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