Abstract for: Flood Risk Assessment of Urban Systems: Understanding the Response Behavior of Communities at Risk

Natural hazards are one of the critical problems cities face, including threats of earthquakes, floods, storms, and other hazards due to highly concentrated populations and infrastructure. Floods are one of the most catastrophic disasters cities face, affecting millions of populations and damaging economies in an irreversible way. Cities have invested in structural measures and adaptive strategies over the past to tackle the negative impacts of flood disasters on cities, yet the destruction and losses continued consistently. This study uses a system dynamics framework to model the vulnerability of cities to respond to natural hazards focusing on interactions among physical features, natural elements, and human behavior. Western Province, Sri Lanka, which is prone to multiple natural hazards used as the case study to test the modeling framework. This research enables planning decisions to target the root cause of existing issues instead of symptoms using resilience as the ultimate goal of a sustainable urban future.