• flood;
  • urban areas;
  • least-cost path;
  • civil protection

ABSTRACT: In this paper a numerical model for flood propagation in urban areas is proposed. It has been applied to evaluate flooding hydraulic characteristics in terms of potential flood elevations, depths, and inundated areas. Furthermore, the algorithm efficiency and the consequent reduced computation time allow the use of the hydraulic model as a part of a more complex system for civil protection actions, planning, and management. During flood events, the transportation network plays a main role both in rescuing people when they are more vulnerable and in moving people and materials from and toward affected areas. The reduced efficiency of this transportation network is evaluated based on a least-flood-risk path-finding algorithm. The results of a case study concerning the northern part of the city of Rome, show that the numerical model for unsteady flow in open channel networks achieves the proposed aims. It has proven to be able to describe the flood hydraulic characteristics and to be suitable for real-time flood emergency management in urban areas.