An integrated framework is presented for sustainability-based flood hazard mapping of the Swannanoa River watershed in the state of North Carolina, U.S. The framework uses a hydrologic model for rainfall–runoff transformation, a two-dimensional unsteady hydraulic model flood simulation and a GIS-based multi-criteria decision-making technique for flood hazard mapping. Economic, social, and environmental flood hazards are taken into account. The importance of each hazard is quantified through a survey to the experts. Utilizing the proposed framework, sustainability-based flood hazard mapping is performed for the 100-year design event. As a result, the overall flood hazard is provided in each geographic location. The sensitivity of the overall hazard with respect to the weights of the three hazard components were also investigated. While the conventional flood management approach is to assess the environmental impacts of mitigation measures after a set of feasible options are selected, the presented framework incorporates the environmental impacts into the analysis concurrently with the economic and social influences. Thereby, it provides a more sustainable perspective of flood management and can greatly help the decision makers to make better-informed decisions by clearly understanding the impacts of flooding on economy, society and environment.
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