RHEA aims to provide a methodological platform to simulate the aggregated impact of households’ residential location choice and dynamic risk perceptions in response to flooding on urban land markets. It integrates adaptive behaviour into the spatial landscape using behavioural theories and empirical data sources. The platform can be used to assess: how changes in households’ preferences or risk perceptions capitalize in property values, how price dynamics in the housing market affect spatial demographics in hazard-prone urban areas, how structural non-marginal shifts in land markets emerge from the bottom up, and how economic land use systems react to climate change. RHEA allows direct modelling of interactions of many heterogeneous agents in a land market over a heterogeneous spatial landscape. As other ABMs of markets it helps to understand how aggregated patterns and economic indices result from many individual interactions of economic agents.
The model could be used by scientists to explore the impact of climate change and increased flood risk on urban resilience, and the effect of various behavioural assumptions on the choices that people make in response to flood risk. It can be used by policy-makers to explore the aggregated impact of climate adaptation policies aimed at minimizing flood damages and the social costs of flood risk.
The model simulates the decisions of residents and a water authority to respond to socio-hydrological hazards. Residents from neighborhoods are located in a landscape with topographic complexity and two problems: water scarcity in the peripheral neighborhoods at high altitude and high risk of flooding in the lowlands, at the core of the city. The role of the water authority is to decide where investments in infrastructure should be allocated to reduce the risk to water scarcity and flooding events in the city, and these decisions are made via a multi-objective site selection procedure. This procedure accounts for the interdependencies and feedback between the urban landscape and a policy scenario that defines the importance, or priorities, that the authority places on four criteria.
Neighborhoods respond to the water authority decisions by protesting against the lack of investment and the level of exposure to water scarcity and flooding. Protests thus simulate a form of feedback between local-level outcomes (flooding and water scarcity) and higher-level decision-making. Neighborhoods at high altitude are more likely to be exposed to water scarcity and lack infrastructure, whereas neighborhoods in the lowlands tend to suffer from recurrent flooding. The frequency of flooding is also a function of spatially uniform rainfall events. Likewise, neighborhoods at the periphery of the urban landscape lack infrastructure and suffer from chronic risk of water scarcity.
The model simulates the coupling between the decision-making processes of institutional actors, socio-political processes and infrastructure-related hazards. In the documentation, we describe details of the implementation in NetLogo, the description of the procedures, scheduling, and the initial conditions of the landscape and the neighborhoods.
This work was supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1414052, CNH: The Dynamics of Multi-Scalar Adaptation in Megacities (PI Hallie Eakin).
A model to show the effects of flood risk on a housing market; the role of flood protection for risk reduction; the working of the existing public-private flood insurance partnership in the UK, and the proposed scheme ‘Flood Re’.