Neo Ekistics for flood mitigation in cities

Date02 December 2019
Publication Date02 December 2019
AuthorMohanad Abdulkareem,Inji Kenawy,Hisham ElKadi
SubjectPublic policy & environmental management,Environmental technology & innovation
Neo Ekistics for flood
mitigation in cities
Mohanad Abdulkareem, Inji Kenawy and Hisham ElKadi
University of Salford, Salford, UK
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to shed light on the potential of ecologically driven urban design
interventions to substantiate urban form performance in coping with the increasing flood threats particularly in
the Middle East region. The paper applies ecological principles to new urban interventions for pluvial flood
adaptation in Muscat city, Oman. The interventions incorporate the physical dimensions of both the natural
(topography) and the built environment (urban morphology). The study demonstrates different scenarios in
Muscat city in Oman and discusses the different challenges faced at different socio-economic and ecological levels.
Design/methodology/approach The paper adopts a case study approach. The methods include
semi-structured interviews aiming to gain insight from experts in the field of study about salient physical
interventions in the urban context that is potentially going to help mitigating flood consequences. Mitigation
scenarios were guided by the participantsrecommendations in the area. Scenarios were tested across two
complementary phases using two software packages, the first of which is the pre-processing phase
accomplished by using the Aeronautical Reconnaissance Coverage Geographic Information System and the
second is the flood analysis phase done by the HydrologicalEnvironmental Center for River Analysis System
(HECRAS) platform. The scenarios were evaluated in relation to the successfulness and reliabilityof physical
solutions based on to which extent the flood wave depth and coverage was reduced.
Findings The paper provides an alternative resilient holistic approach to achieve socially and ecologically
sensitive and less expensive flood mitigation solutions in the Middle East.
Originality/value The paper provides a new approach to flood mitigation linking ecological principles to
the social dimension of human activities and experience in closely knitted communities.
Keywords Natural hazards, Urban resilience, Ecological compliance, Flood mitigation, Pluvial flood
Paper type Research paper
The United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction defined a natural hazard
as natural process or phenomenon that may cause loss of life, injury or other health
impacts, property damage, loss of livelihoods and services, social and economic disruption
or environmental damage. Disasters are the consequences of natural hazards. They are
related to the exposure, vulnerability and coping capabilities towards hazards (UNISDR,
2009). These factors vary according to the social, economic, geographical and governance
characteristics of the place (Banholzer et al., 2014).
Flooding, one of the dramatic natural hazards, is highly sensitive to the different levels of
warming associated with climate change. It leaves behind significant losses of human lives
and damages to properties, habitats, crops, lands as well as infrastructures. Floods also
have social, economic and environmental consequences to the affected countries. Many
developed and underdeveloped countries have their own flood mitigation and management
approaches (Mirza, 2011). Levels of flood risk, history of flood damage, as well as the
country economic advancements define each country particular approach. The Committee
for Development Policy explained that developing countries are those suffering from
the severest structural obstacles to sustainable development (CDP, 2011). Although being
the least contributors to emitting greenhouse gases, they are also the most vulnerable to
climate changes impacts due to their locations, low adaptation and resilience, high
population and low resources (Bruckner, 2012; Huq et al., 2004). According to Fothergill and
Peek (2004), there is a significant relation between the socio-economic status and the
physical and psychological consequences of natural disasters. They added that low-income
group is the most exposed to physical and psychological losses.
World Journal of Science,
Technology and Sustainable
Vol. 17 No. 2, 2020
pp. 167-181
© Emerald PublishingLimited
Received 29 January 2018
Revised 8 June 2019
3 July 2019
Accepted 4 October 2019
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at:
Neo Ekistics
for flood
in cities

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