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Collaborative Strategies for Sustainable EU Flood Risk Management: FOSS and Geospatial Tools—Challenges and Opportunities for Operative Risk Analysis

School of Engineering, University of Basilicata, via dell’Ateneo Lucano n.10, Potenza 85100, Italy
Sustainable Development and Energy Sources Department, Ricerca sul Sistema Energetico S.p.A., Milano 20134, Italy
Department of Bioresource Engineering, McGill University, Ste Anne de Bellevue, Montréal, QC H3A 0G4, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Songnian Li, Suzana Dragicevic, Xiaohua Tong and Wolfgang Kainz
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2015, 4(4), 2704-2727;
Received: 26 September 2015 / Revised: 4 November 2015 / Accepted: 17 November 2015 / Published: 2 December 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bridging the Gap between Geospatial Theory and Technology)
PDF [1433 KB, uploaded 7 December 2015]


An analysis of global statistics shows a substantial increase in flood damage over the past few decades. Moreover, it is expected that flood risk will continue to rise due to the combined effect of increasing numbers of people and economic assets in risk-prone areas and the effects of climate change. In order to mitigate the impact of natural hazards on European economies and societies, improved risk assessment, and management needs to be pursued. With the recent transition to a more risk-based approach in European flood management policy, flood analysis models have become an important part of flood risk management (FRM). In this context, free and open-source (FOSS) geospatial models provide better and more complete information to stakeholders regarding their compliance with the Flood Directive (2007/60/EC) for effective and collaborative FRM. A geospatial model is an essential tool to address the European challenge for comprehensive and sustainable FRM because it allows for the use of integrated social and economic quantitative risk outcomes in a spatio-temporal domain. Moreover, a FOSS model can support governance processes using an interactive, transparent and collaborative approach, providing a meaningful experience that both promotes learning and generates knowledge through a process of guided discovery regarding flood risk management. This article aims to organize the available knowledge and characteristics of the methods available to give operational recommendations and principles that can support authorities, local entities, and the stakeholders involved in decision-making with regard to flood risk management in their compliance with the Floods Directive (2007/60/EC). View Full-Text
Keywords: GIS; flood risk management; open-source; flood risk model GIS; flood risk management; open-source; flood risk model

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Albano, R.; Mancusi, L.; Sole, A.; Adamowski, J. Collaborative Strategies for Sustainable EU Flood Risk Management: FOSS and Geospatial Tools—Challenges and Opportunities for Operative Risk Analysis. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2015, 4, 2704-2727.

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