Disaster risk management model for intense rainfall in Pernambuco


2022 – 2023

Project APQ-0952-3.08/22

Funding: FACEPE (Fundação de Amparo a Ciência e Tecnologia do Estado de Pernambuco)

Public administration, whether at the local or national level, is facing new challenges in adapting human life to alarming trends and their consequences, such as climate change and an increase in the extent and frequency of natural disasters. Decision-makers are therefore seeking to improve how flood risks are managed while recognizing that this activity involves many factors. In this context, the worsening climate crisis requires policymakers to adopt a new perspective to combat its practical impacts on urban functioning, especially about quality of life under the occurrence of extreme events. As an example, the torrential rains in Pernambuco during the months of May and June this year reached historic levels, exceeding 120 deaths, in addition to almost 7,000 homeless families and other inconveniences. These issues indicate the need to develop and improve different types of flood risk management methods, in order to support the decision of public managers in the efficient implementation of resources in structural and non-structural measures, such as flood forecasting, early warning procedures and emergency management with the aim of anticipating, resisting and recovering from the impacts of these disasters with the least number of victims, avoiding episodes of deaths and homelessness, as well as the impacts on urban infrastructure resulting from floods, flooding and landslides. Thus, in a number of problems closely related to the lines of action set out above, different approaches are used in flood risk management to help public and private entities manage risks appropriately. However, the policies used to mitigate floods and manage emergencies must take into account multiple strategic objectives that often conflict with each other and seek to integrate mainly the social, economic and environmental dimensions. In this sense, the research problem, whose solution is pursued by the project, is centered on structuring and building a disaster risk management model resulting from intense precipitation in the state of Pernambuco that implements a multi-criteria decision model to support the prioritization of disaster mitigation and emergency actions, as well as the issuing of alerts for hydrological factors, in order to take into account not only the hydro-meteorological monitoring and weather/climate forecasting of the Pernambuco region, but also the effects of climate change from various perspectives in order to consolidate the best way to adapt cities to the new challenges.

In Progress

Decision modeling for risk management in Brazilian cities under the influence of climate change


2024 – Present

Chamada CNPq/MCTI Nº 10/2023 – Universal

Funding: CNPq (National Council for Scientific and Technological Development)

Climate change and the impacts of urbanization have generated hydrological disasters in several regions of the world, causing significant damage and, in more severe cases, loss of human life. In this context, it is essential to identify and map vulnerable areas to these extreme disasters to guide investments and emergency actions. However, this task is challenging in large urban centers due to the heterogeneity of risk factors distributed across the territory, such as vulnerability, exposure, and danger. Listing and classifying these areas requires a complex approach, which considers hydrological aspects, social factors, population density, built-up areas, and climate change influences, among other elements. This complexity makes the problem multidimensional. To face it, developing a multicriteria decision-making framework is proposed to classify risk areas and indicate the best interventions. The project aims to carry out hydraulic and hydrological modeling of extreme events in Brazilian cities to provide data based on the physical principles of these events. This information will be essential to support the decision-making process. A pilot study will be carried out in the city of Recife, the capital of the state of Pernambuco, a city with a population of 1,488,920, according to the 2022 Demographic Census of the IBGE. The proposed framework is expected to contribute to solving complex and multidimensional problems related to extreme hydrological disasters, allowing the effective implementation of mitigation measures for the damage caused by these events. The project seeks to develop a method capable of identifying risk areas and guiding corrective actions in the face of challenges arising from extreme hydrological events. This will enable a more efficient approach to managing the impacts caused by such events to protect communities and develop sustainable cities.