Natural Hazards

, Volume 79, Issue 3, pp 1499–1530 | Cite as

An integrated approach of flood risk assessment in the eastern part of Dhaka City

  • Animesh K. Gain
  • Vahid Mojtahed
  • Claudio Biscaro
  • Stefano Balbi
  • Carlo Giupponi
Original Paper


The flood risk is a function of the flood hazard, the exposed values, and their vulnerability. In addition to extreme hydrological events, different anthropogenic activities such as extensive urbanization and land use play an important role in producing catastrophic floods. Considerations of both physical and social dimensions are therefore equally important in flood risk assessment. However, very often the risk assessment studies focus either on physical or social dimensions. In addition, the available studies often focus on economic valuation of only direct tangible costs. In this study, we provide an integrated flood risk assessment approach that goes beyond the valuation of direct tangible costs, through incorporating physical dimensions in hazard and exposure and social dimensions in vulnerability. The method has been implemented in the Dhaka City, Bangladesh, an area internationally recognized as hot spot for flood risk. In this study, flood hazards for different return periods are calculated in spatial environment using a hydrologic model, HEC-RAS. Vulnerability is assessed through aggregation of various social dimensions, i.e., coping and adaptive capacities, and susceptibility. We assess vulnerability for both baseline and improved scenarios. In the baseline scenario, current early warning for study area is considered. In the alternative scenario, the warning system is expected to improve. Aggregating hazard, exposure and vulnerability, risk maps (in terms of both tangible and intangible costs) of several return period floods are produced for both baseline and improved scenarios. Compared to traditional assessments, the integrated assessment approach used in this study generates more information about the flood risk. Consequently, the results are useful in evaluating policy alternatives and minimizing property loss in the study area.


Integrated assessment Flood risk Vulnerability Intangible costs Indirect costs Dhaka City 



The authors thank editor and anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments. The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the KULTURisk Project (FP7-ENV.2010.1.3.2-1-265280). AK Gain is supported by Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, whose support is gratefully acknowledged.

Supplementary material

11069_2015_1911_MOESM1_ESM.doc (4.6 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 4666 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Animesh K. Gain
    • 1
    • 2
  • Vahid Mojtahed
    • 2
  • Claudio Biscaro
    • 3
  • Stefano Balbi
    • 4
  • Carlo Giupponi
    • 2
  1. 1.GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Section 5.4 HydrologyPotsdamGermany
  2. 2.Department of Economics, Venice Centre for Climate StudiesCa’ Foscari University of VeniceVeniceItaly
  3. 3.Institut für Organisation und Globale ManagementstudienJohannes Kepler UniversitätLinzAustria
  4. 4.Basque Centre for Climate Change (BC3)BilbaoSpain

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