Multi-objective Optimisation Framework for Assessment of Trade-Offs between Benefits and Co-benefits of Nature-based Solutions

Urbanization and climate change are producing an escalation in the prevalence of urban problems, particularly those connected to flooding, prompting authorities and stakeholders to recognize the need for sustainable solutions. Nature-Based Solutions are progressively replacing traditional engineering solutions as an alternative since they are more eco-friendly. By re-activating the urban hydrological cycle processes, NBS intends to increase the natural water storage capacity to help decrease urban flooding. The work described here outlines a framework for optimising the efficacy of NBS for flood risk reduction and its co-benefits, as well as defining the trade-offs among these co-benefits. The framework integrates 1D hydrodynamic models with multi-objective optimisation techniques. To demonstrate the applicability of the framework and its methods it has been used in Sint Maarten, which is an island located in the Caribbean Sea. Four NBS measure were identified as having good potential to be applied in the case study, namely: green roof, permeable pavement, bio-retention pond, and open detention basin. The results showed that the developed framework has the ability to represent the link between benefits and costs when evaluating various NBS, hence aiding the decision-making process to select and implement NBS.

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