Journal cover Journal topic
Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 15, 2331-2346, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-15-2331-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
14 Oct 2015
Coupling scenarios of urban growth and flood hazards along the Emilia-Romagna coast (Italy)
I. Sekovski1,2, C. Armaroli3, L. Calabrese4, F. Mancini5, F. Stecchi1, and L. Perini4 1Department of Biology, Geology and Environmental Science, University of Bologna, 48123 Ravenna, Italy
2Department of Earth Sciences, CASEM, University of Cadiz, 11510 Puerto Real, Spain
3Department of Physics and Earth Sciences, University of Ferrara, 44122 Ferrara, Italy
4Geological Service of the Emilia-Romagna region, 40127 Bologna, Italy
5DIEF, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, 41125 Modena, Italy
Abstract. The extent of coastline urbanization reduces their resilience to flooding, especially in low-lying areas. The study site is the coastline of the Emilia-Romagna region (Italy), historically affected by marine storms and floods. The main aim of this study is to investigate the vulnerability of this coastal area to marine flooding by considering the dynamics of the forcing component (total water level) and the dynamics of the receptor (urban areas). This was done by comparing the output of the three flooding scenarios (10, 100 and > 100 year return periods) to the output of different scenarios of future urban growth up to 2050. Scenario-based marine flooding extents were derived by applying the Cost–Distance tool of ArcGIS® to a high-resolution digital terrain model. Three scenarios of urban growth (similar-to-historic, compact and sprawled) up to 2050 were estimated by applying the cellular automata-based SLEUTH model. The results show that if the urban growth progresses compactly, flood-prone areas will largely increase with respect to similar-to-historic and sprawled growth scenarios. Combining the two methodologies can be useful for identification of flood-prone areas that have a high potential for future urbanization, and is therefore crucial for coastal managers and planners.

Citation: Sekovski, I., Armaroli, C., Calabrese, L., Mancini, F., Stecchi, F., and Perini, L.: Coupling scenarios of urban growth and flood hazards along the Emilia-Romagna coast (Italy), Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 15, 2331-2346, https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-15-2331-2015, 2015.
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Short summary
The main idea behind this study was to contribute to a better understanding of coastal hazards and risks. This was achieved by proposing an approach that combines coastal flooding scenarios with different scenarios of urban growth. Once used jointly, these two methodologies can help to identify flood-prone areas that have a high potential for future urbanization, which makes this combination particularly useful for coastal managers and planners.
The main idea behind this study was to contribute to a better understanding of coastal hazards...
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