07 April 2017
Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium

Kickoff Meeting for the FloodCitiSense Project

IIASA to participate in the kickoff meeting for the FloodCitiSense project, which aims at developing an urban pluvial flood early warning service for and by citizens and city authorities

© Shutterstock

© Shutterstock

FloodCitiSense “Early warning service for urban pluvial floods for and by citizens and city authorities” is a project that aims at developing an urban pluvial early warning service, not only for, but also by citizens and city authorities.

Pluvial floods occur when heavy rainfall exceeds the capacity of a city’s drainage system. Due to their fast onset and localized nature, such floods cause significant damage to urban environments and are difficult to manage. Monitoring and management of city flooding events are often in the hands of local government agencies, with citizens playing a passive role. This project proposes an interactive and cooperative framework consisting of citizens, local authorities, research units, and industrial partners working together to improve the monitoring and management of pluvial urban flooding. Citizens are no longer considered passive, potential victims of flooding, but engaged and active contributors in the process of flood monitoring and mapping. The involvement of citizens will enable better simulation and forecasting of flood events, while enhancing awareness and, ultimately, resilience.

IIASA Research Scholar, Linda See, who is leading a project work package on the development of an early warning tool for pluvial flooding, will provide an overview of the work package as well as planned activities for the next 6 months.


About 500 million people live in cities in Europe, most of which are critically vulnerable to extreme weather events, as demonstrated by recent pluvial and fluvial flooding in Northern and Central Europe, which have caused massive damages and losses worth billions of euros. Reliable urban flood forecasting and early warning services play a crucial role in reducing such impacts. With the continuous rise of urbanization and intensified rainfall due to climate change, such a service is sure to become more important in future years.

FloodCitiSense will integrate crowdsourced hydrological data, collaboratively monitored by local stakeholders, including citizens, and make use of low-cost sensors and web based technologies to create a flood early warning system. This service aims at increasing the preparedness of citizens and cities for pluvial flooding, thereby supporting a significant reduction in flood-related damages and costs.

FloodCitiSense is funded by

ERA-NET Cofund Smart Urban Futures Local Funding Agency – FFG

Project Coordinator

Vrije Universiteit Brussel – Dept. of Hydrology and Hydraulic Engineering

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Last edited: 06 April 2017


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