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A city-scale assessment of emergency response accessibility to vulnerable populations and facilities under normal and pluvial flood conditions for Shanghai, China

journal contribution
posted on 13.11.2020, 11:31 by Jie Yin, Dapeng YuDapeng Yu, Banggu Liao
This paper describes the development of a scenario-based approach that couples 2D hydrodynamic modeling with Geographic Information System (GIS) network analysis to assess the vulnerability of emergency services to surface water flooding at a large city scale. The method is demonstrated for Emergency Medical Service and Fire & Rescue Service in the city of Shanghai, China. Considering four representative traffic conditions, accessibility in terms of service area, response time, and population coverage within specified timeframes (8-, 12-, and 15-minute for Emergency Medical Service and 5-, 10-, and 15-minute for Fire & Rescue Service) is quantified and mapped under normal as well as pluvial flood scenarios of various magnitudes (5-, 20-, and 100- year return periods). Results show that the performance of operational responses largely depends on the functioning of transportation system, dramatically decreasing from unobstructed to congested traffic. Surface water flooding is found to result in limited (i.e. site-specific) but nonlinear impacts on the city-wide emergency service provisions. The results provide detailed information for optimizing the distribution of emergency stations and developing strategic contingency planning for vulnerable populations and facilities.


National Social Science Fund of China (Grant no. 18ZDA105)

National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant nos 41871164 and 51761135024)

National Key Research and Development Program of China (Grant nos 2018YFC1508803, 2017YFE0100700, and 2017YFE0107400)

Humanities and Social Science Project of Education Ministry of China (Grant no. 17YJAZH111)

Key Project of Soft Science Research of Shanghai (Grant no. 19692108100)

Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (Grant nos 2018ECNU-QKT001 and 2017ECNU-KXK013)



  • Social Sciences and Humanities


  • Geography and Environment

Published in

Environment and Planning B: Urban Analytics and City Science


SAGE Publications


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© The Authors

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Prof Dapeng Yu. Deposit date: 11 November 2020