Research School for Socio-Economic and
Natural Sciences of the Environment
Research School for Socio-Economic and
Natural Sciences of the Environment

Toon Haer

Date: 16 November 2018
Time: 13:45 - 14:45
Location: Aula VU, De Boelelaan 1085, Amsterdam

Dissertation title: 

Integrating adaptation behaviour in flood risk analysis - an agent-based modelling approach

Group: VU University Amsterdam, Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM), Spatial Analysis and Decision Support
Promotor: Prof. J.C.A.H. Aerts and prof. W.J.W. Botzen


Every year, flood events cause devastating effects to society and the economy. Without investments in adaptation, supported by scientific risk projections, the impact of floods will continue to increase. Key to making accurate flood risk projections are assessments of how disaster-risk reduction measures reduce risk and how much risk remains after adaptation. Current flood-risk-assessment models are ill-equipped to address this, as they assume static adaptation paths, implying that vulnerability remains constant. This dissertation explores how to use agent-based models to integrate adaptive behaviour of households, government, and insurers in a small- and large-scale flood risk-assessment frameworks. By doing so, it demonstrates how flood risk and adaptation might develop, demonstrates how policies can steer towards optimal behaviour, and calculates the residual risk that has to be covered by risk-transfer mechanisms. The results highlight the importance of integrating behavioural methods from social sciences with quantitative models from the natural sciences.