Suitability estimation for urban development using multi-hazard assessment map

Sci Total Environ. 2017 Jan 1;575:119-134. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.10.025. Epub 2016 Oct 10.


Preparation of natural hazards maps are vital and essential for urban development. The main scope of this study is to synthesize natural hazard maps in a single multi-hazard map and thus to identify suitable areas for the urban development. The study area is the drainage basin of Xerias stream (Northeastern Peloponnesus, Greece) that has frequently suffered damages from landslides, floods and earthquakes. Landslide, flood and seismic hazard assessment maps were separately generated and further combined by applying the Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) and utilizing a Geographical Information System (GIS) to produce a multi-hazard map. This map represents the potential suitability map for urban development in the study area and was evaluated by means of uncertainty analysis. The outcome revealed that the most suitable areas are distributed in the southern part of the study area, where the landslide, flood and seismic hazards are at low and very low level. The uncertainty analysis shows small differences on the spatial distribution of the suitability zones. The produced suitability map for urban development proves a satisfactory agreement between the suitability zones and the landslide and flood phenomena that have affected the study area. Finally, 40% of the existing urban pattern boundaries and 60% of the current road network are located within the limits of low and very low suitability zones.

Keywords: Analytical Hierarchy Process; GIS; Hellas; Multi-criteria analysis; Peloponnesus; Urban design.