High-resolution urban change modeling and flood exposure estimation at a national scale using open geospatial data: A case study of the Philippines

In Computers, Environment and Urban Systems
Volume (Issue): 90
Peer-reviewed Article

Many developing countries in Asia are experiencing rapid urban expansion in climate hazard prone areas. To support climate resilient urban planning efforts, here we present an approach for simulating future urban land-use changes and evaluating potential flood exposure at a high spatial resolution (30 m) and national scale. As a case study, we applied this model to the Philippines – a country frequently affected by extreme rainfall events. Urban land-use changes were simulated to the year 2050 using a trend-based logistic regression cellular automata model, considering three different scenarios of urban expansion (assuming low/medium/high population growth). Flood exposure assessment was then conducted by overlaying the land-use simulation results onto a global floodplain map. We found that approximately 6040–13,850 ha of urban land conversion is likely to be located in flood prone regions between 2019 and 2050 (depending on the scenario), affecting approximately 2.5–5.8 million additional urban residents. In locations with high rates of future urban development in flood prone areas (Mindanao Island, in particular), climate resilient land-use plans should be developed/enforced, and flood mitigation infrastructure protected (in the case of “nature-based” infrastructure) or constructed. The data selected for our land-use change modeling and flood exposure assessment were all openly and (near-)globally available, with the intention that our methodology can potentially be applied in other countries where rapid urban expansion is occurring. The 2050 urban land-use maps generated in this study are available for download at https://www.iges.or.jp/en/pub/ph-urban2050/en to allow for their use in future works.