A Framework for Sustainability Assessment of Flood Mitigation Projects
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Long term sustainability of flood mitigation projects is a dire necessity to tackle increasing flood risks associated with rapid urbanisation and climate change impacts in floodplains. A few sustainability assessment approaches are available, mostly applicable for national or catchment level plans, but none for individual flood mitigation projects. This paper presents a conceptual framework for assessing sustainability of flood mitigation projects, with two basic aims – how the project can provide sustained flood risk reduction and how flexible it can be for compliance with sustainable development of the floodplain. An extensive review of existing sustainability assessment approaches, consultations with experts and detailed case studies of flood mitigation projects of two regional councils in Australia have been used to identify the sustainability issues and develop the framework. The study highlights the sustainability issues of flood mitigation projects in terms of sustained flood risk reduction, environmental, social, economic and policy-oriented factors, and institutions related to the projects, which are integrated in the framework. The sustainability assessment framework is developed to conform to five key stages, in line with the project management cycle, such as - a) contextualising the project with respect to regional sustainable development; b) assessment during planning and implementation for ensuring integration of sustainability concerns; c) assessment during flood event to evaluate the performance and identifying additional sustainability issues; d) periodic assessment to check the achievement and compliance with regional sustainable development plans; and e) assessment at the time of modification/changing to new/upgraded project. The process of implementing the framework is also described herein that encompasses methods of data collection, qualitative and quantitative analyses of sustainability indicators and multi-criteria analysis to generate conclusive outputs for decision making. This framework will facilitate better decision making for ensuring sustainability of the flood mitigation projects and flood resilient sustainable development in the floodplains.
Proceedings of The Fourteenth East Asia-Pacific Conference on Structural Engineering and Construction
Infrastructure Engineering and Asset Management