Floods are among the most recurring and devastating natural hazards, impacting human lives and causing severe economic damage. Urbanization can increase the risk of flooding due to increased peak discharge and volume. Over arid urban areas of developing countries, flood disaster management is reactive, responding to prevailing disaster situations, mainly because of the lack of budget, equipment, facilities, and human resources. The approach required in a new city requires a different operative planning process, ruled by different kinds of specific indicators to be incorporated in the sustainable planning process. This study focuses on an approach to assess flood vulnerability as a planning tool using an integrated flood vulnerability index (FVI) with variables that are accessible in developing countries and arid urban areas. The research took place in the city of Mexicali, Baja, California. México. This index was determined by coupling the variables of three components: social, economic, and physical. The FVI reflects the status of an urban scale’s vulnerability. Variables were obtained from government data for the social and economic components, and a hydrological and hydraulic model approach as a physical component. The correlation of each variable to the flood was taken into account by using a general linear transformation. GIS was used as a tool for the development of spatial analysis. The results showed the spatial distribution of vulnerability at an urban district scale. It was found that 55% of the population is exposed to a vulnerability above the average value of the urban area. Integrating all the components will help decision-makers to implement strategies to improve the resilience of the area by attending the needs of the particular component that is more vulnerable.
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