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Hu, Hengzhi, Tian, Zhan, Sun, Laixiang, Wen, Jiahong, Liang, Zhuoran, Dong, Guangtao and Liu, Junguo (2019) 'Synthesized trade-off analysis of flood control solutions under future deep uncertainty: An application to the central business district of Shanghai.' Water Research, 166 (115067).

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Coastal mega-cities will face increasing flood risk under the current protection standard because of future climate change. Previous studies seldom evaluate the comparative effectiveness of alternative options in reducing flood risk under the uncertainty of future extreme rainfall. Long-term planning to manage flood risk is further challenged by uncertainty in socioeconomic factors and contested stakeholder priorities. In this study, we conducted a knowledge co-creation process together with infrastructure experts, policy makers, and other stakeholders to develop an integrated framework for flexible testing of multiple flood-risk mitigation strategies under the condition of deep uncertainties. We implemented this framework to the reoccurrence scenarios in the 2050s of a record-breaking extreme rainfall event in central Shanghai. Three uncertain factors, including precipitation, urban rain island effect and the decrease of urban drainage capacity caused by land subsidence and sea level rise, are selected to build future extreme inundation scenarios in the case study. The risk-reduction performance and cost-effectiveness of all possible solutions are examined across different scenarios. The results show that drainage capacity decrease caused by sea-level rise and land subsidence will contribute the most to the rise of future inundation risk in central Shanghai. The combination of increased green area, improved drainage system, and the deep tunnel with a runoff absorbing capacity of 30% comes out to be the most favorable and robust solution which can reduce the future inundation risk by 85% (±8%). This research indicates that to conduct a successful synthesized trade-off analysis of alternative flood control solutions under future deep uncertainty is bound to be a knowledge co-creation process of scientists, decision makers, field experts, and other stakeholders.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Decision-making under deep uncertainty; Urban flood solutions; Cost-effectiveness; Climate change; China
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > School of Finance & Management
ISSN: 00431354
Copyright Statement: © 2019 The Authors. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Sep 2019 07:42
Funders: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, Other, Other

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