Flooding in urban areas from extreme rainfalls has caused material, economic, environmental and human losses in several locations around the world. Flood forecasting is particularly relevant in urban environments, where most of the population is concentrated. The cities are in permanent growth and development, which is usually faster than the development of the municipal drainage system. Combined with the threat of climate change, increased urbanization and a precarious drainage network, the risk of flooding increases if not mitigated by adequate risk management.

Thus, flood and flood forecasting models are important resources in the integrated management of rich water resources in cities. However, there are still few cities that have flood warning systems in real time. Since the improvement of existing conventional infrastructure has a high cost, urban areas have reincorporated their natural systems. Over the past 20 years, wetlands have emerged as a promising and multipurpose storm water problem. Constructed wetlands have high ecological potential and low life cycle costs, protect urban areas against flooding, and offer recreation and city beautification facilities. Little research exists examining the implications of wetlands constructed in urban in terms of design and planning at multiple scales. Thus, in this project we will:

  1. develop a real-time flood warning system considering multiple uncertainties;
  2. establish design guidelines for wetlands for storm water treatment purposes;
  3. evaluate meteorological radar data from observed rainfall data;
  4. develop and evaluate methods to generate land cover maps and digital terrain models, which are required as input data for the alert system; and
  5. map and characterize urban forests.

We hope that the results of this proposal can have a great scientific impact and be implemented in a practical way in several cities around the world. The project is coordinated by José Marcato Junior, from the Faculty of Architecture, Engineering and Geography of UFMS, with the participation of researchers from nine international universities.