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A simplified approach for flood vulnerability assessment of historic sites

  • Fabiana Navia Miranda
  • Tiago Miguel FerreiraEmail author
Original Paper

Abstract

In the last decades, floods have increased in frequency all over the world due to diverse phenomena such as climate change, extended urbanization, land use, etc. Their social, cultural, economic and environmental impacts have also grown significantly, highlighting the need for the development of further studies and improved methods to manage and mitigate flood risk, mainly in urban areas. Historic sites need particular attention in this field, not only because the high and irreplaceable cultural value of these areas, but also taking into account that the constructive typologies that they host are particularly vulnerable to natural hazards. In consequence of that, the analysis of the phenomena, the evaluation of their consequences and the adoption of adequate mitigation and preparedness measures are presently a fundamental societal challenge. Having this in mind, the present paper aims at proposing an innovative methodology focused on the assessment of flood vulnerability in historic sites through the evaluation of a set of exposure and sensitivity indicators. From the analysis of these indicators, it is possible to obtain a Flood Vulnerability Index capable of measuring the spread of flood vulnerability over an extended area. The historic centre of Guimarães, in Portugal, declared by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 2001, is used here as a pilot case study to apply and discusses the preliminary version of the approach. Although some improvements are still needed, this approach can be already used to provides preliminary vulnerability scenarios and to point the way to the definition of more efficient and customized strategies for managing and mitigating flood risk in historic sites. Moreover, with further improvements and calibrations resorting to larger and more diverse data, it will be possible to reduce some of the uncertainties currently involved in the assessment process and to make its application wider and more robust.

Keywords

Flood vulnerability assessment Exposure Sensitivity Historic sites Historic centre of Guimarães 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This work was funded by the European Commission through the ELARCH Project (Ref. 552129-EM-1-2014-1-IT-ERAMUNDUS-EMA2) and by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) through the postdoctoral grant SFRH/BPD/122598/2016. The authors would like to acknowledge the City Council of Guimarães for the support and contribution to the development of this work, and to express their gratitude to the anonymous reviewer for his/her insightful comments and constructive suggestions, which have significantly improved the paper.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil Engineering, ISISE, Institute of Science and Innovation for Bio-Sustainability (IB-S)University of MinhoGuimarãesPortugal

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