Student researcher

Saimum Kabir Research Leader

Globally, the link between the built environment and disaster risk is increasingly become a focus of attention particularly in the dynamic context of continuing urbanisation and climate change. Australia’s urban areas, being vulnerable to range of disaster risks, present a relevant case to study. Along with other disaster events, flash flooding from intense bursts of rainfall are becoming more frequent and severe in Australia. Climate change and population growth add a further critical dimension to this already challenging situation. In response, the Victorian Government has prepared a revised draft ‘Victorian Floodplain Management Strategy’ in 2015 focusing on flood mitigation approaches in addition to flood response and recovery efforts. The overarching challenge is how urban planning can inform flood resilience in the context of infill and dynamic urban change. 

The research, therefore, aims to understand urban-water-resilience nexus holistically as intersecting fields of urban planning, water management and disaster risk management while emphasising the urban-water transformation over time and the cross-scale implication (trade-offs) with particular reference to floods. The research follows the system approach (multi-scalar analysis) to empirically investigate the research questions in the context of urban catchment of Elster Creek, Melbourne. At the macro scale, the study addresses the temporal dimension of risk by tracing the long-term impacts of past urban growth and water management policies and practices and how they have influenced the present flood risk in the catchment. At the meso or morphological scale, the focus is on the location and spatial heterogeneity and their influence on the spatial risk distribution. At the micro or building parcel scale, the study examines the trade-offs between urban form’s transformation and flood risk mitigation at the catchment. Finally, the study critics the existing planning policies and schemes in order to assess degree of preparedness and dynamic change management.