Vulnerability of Built Environment to Flooding in African Cities

Part of the Future City book series (FUCI, volume 4)


Urban built structures and lifelines in African cities are particularly vulnerable to extreme weather-related events such as flooding. This chapter provides an overview of the activities and the findings related to the vulnerability to flooding of the urban built environment in the context of the CLUVA project. First, the urban hotspots to flooding for the built structures and the lifelines are identified for three African case study cities. In the next step, a probabilistic methodology is employed in order to perform micro-scale evaluation of building vulnerability and risk to flooding for the case study city of Dar es Salaam based on historical rainfall data. This methodology is developed specifically for vulnerability assessments based on incomplete knowledge and relies on various data-gathering techniques such as orthophoto boundary recognition, field surveys and laboratory tests. The micro-scale evaluation of the building vulnerability is also performed using rainfall data for a projected 1-year interval in 2050. The results in terms of economic loss and number of people affected are discussed and compared to the evaluation performed based on historical rainfall data. In this comparison, the negative effect of urbanisation on flooding risk is emphasised. The findings presented in this chapter can be translated into strategic adaptive measures for urban structures and lifelines to flooding.


Africa Flood-prone Physical vulnerability Fragility Risk assessment 


Acknowledgements and Data Sources

This work was supported in part by the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Program Climate Change and Urban Vulnerability in Africa (CLUVA), FP7-ENV-2010, Grant No. 265137. This support is gratefully acknowledged. The authors gratefully acknowledge the precious help of Prof. F. De Paola, Prof. M. Giugni and M. E. Topa for providing the rainfall curves, the inundation profiles and the TWI maps for the three case study cities considered. Moreover, the authors would like to gratefully acknowledge Dr. E. Bucchignani and the rest of the CMCC team for providing the Climate Projections for RCP 8.5 Scenario. The authors would like to acknowledge also the precious help of Prof. Kumelachew Yeshitela, Alemu Nebebe, Dr. Riziki Shemdoe, Dr. Deusdedit Kibassa, Dr. Sarah Lindley, Dr. Gina Cavan, Dr. Andreas Printz and Florian Renner for providing the Urban Morphology types for Addis Ababa and Dar es Salaam. Last but not least, the authors would like to acknowledge S. Carozza for his invaluable work in developing the software VISK.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for the Analysis and Monitoring of Environmental Risk (AMRA), ScarlNaplesItaly
  2. 2.Department of Structures for Engineering and ArchitectureUniversity of Naples Federico IINaplesItaly
  3. 3.Institute of Human Settlements StudiesArdhi UniversityDar es SalaamTanzania
  4. 4.Ethiopian Institute of Architecture, Building Construction and City DevelopmentAddis Ababa UniversityAddis AbabaEthiopia

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