Hogeschool van Amsterdam

Centre of Applied Research Technology

High Resolution Decision Maps for Urban Planning: A Combined Analysis of Urban Flooding and Thermal Stress Potential In Asia and Europe


Urban flooding and thermal stress have become key issues for many cities around the world. With the continuing effects of climate change, these two issues will become more acute and will add to the serious problems already experienced in dense urban areas. Therefore, the sectors of public health and disaster management are in the need of tools that can assess the vulnerability to floods and thermal stress. The present paper deals with the combination of innovative tools to address this challenge. Three cities in different climatic regions with various urban contexts have been selected as the pilot areas to demonstrate these tools. These cities are Tainan (Taiwan), Ayutthaya (Thailand) and Groningen (Netherlands). For these cities, flood maps and heat stress maps were developed and used for the comparison analysis. The flood maps produced indicate vulnerable low-lying areas, whereas thermal stress maps indicate open, unshaded areas where high Physiological Equivalent Temperature (PET) values (thermal comfort) can be expected. The work to date indicates the potential of combining two different kinds of maps to identify and analyse the problem areas. These maps could be further improved and used by urban planners and other stakeholders to assess the resilience and well-being of cities. The work presented shows that the combined analysis of such maps also has a strong potential to be used for the analysis of other challenges in urban dense areas such as air and water pollution, immobility and noise disturbance.

Stormwater flooding and thermal stress have become two very important issues for most urbanised areas. Municipalities and authorities in charge of water management, urban * Corresponding author: Floris@noorderruimte.nl MATEC Web of Conferences 103, 04012 (2017) DOI: 10.1051/matecconf/20171030 ISCEE 2016 4012 © The Authors, published by EDP Sciences. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). planning and building construction need insight into the risks of the storm water flooding and thermal stress. This is required in order to develop cost effective mitigating measures, preferably at a street or even house level. Due to the climate change, the two issues of flooding and thermal stress are expected to increase in frequency and impact in the near future, especially for dense urban areas. For example, increasing temperatures are resulting in higher urban heat stress causing cities to be unpleasant and unhealthy places to live and work. Extreme heat waves ultimately result in a significant increase in the urban mortality rate due to heat stress [1]. It is therefore essential that public health and disaster management sectors adequately assess the vulnerability to stormwater flooding and thermal stress. Since both issues are expected to involve similar measures in the urban planning and design, it is logical to try to analyse and solve these issues simultaneously. The interaction of the two issues therefore needs to be further investigated. To achieve this goal, three cities in different climate regions with varying urban contexts were selected as pilot areas; Tainan in Taiwan, Ayutthaya in Thailand and Groningen in The Netherlands. Maps of stormwater flooding and thermal stress for those case studies have been compared in this study.

Reference Boogaard, F., Vojinovic, Z., Chen, Y-C., Kluck, J., & Lin, T-P. (2017). High Resolution Decision Maps for Urban Planning: A Combined Analysis of Urban Flooding and Thermal Stress Potential In Asia and Europe. MATEC Web of Conferences, 103(2017), 1-9. [04012]. https://doi.org/10.1051/matecconf/201710304012
Published by  Centre for Applied Research Technology 1 January 2017

Publication date

Jan 2017


Floris Boogaard
Zoran Vojinovic
Yu-Cheng Chen
Tzu-Ping Lin