Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering


Civil and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Ali Shafqat Akanda


The world is going through rapid urbanization resulting in cities turning into megacities. This rapid change turns into unplanned development in order to adapt to the growing population while the importance of the sustainability of the natural environment is neglected during the whole process. Along with the effects of climate change, flood disasters are becoming more frequent in megacities resulting in huge financial burden. Two driving factors behind urban flood disasters, anthropogenic and natural, are considered here: (i) Land Use and Land Cover (LULC) change, and (ii) intensity and frequency of precipitation. We focus on four major cities from across the world that are prone to chronic urban flooding problems: Houston, United States, Mexico City, Mexico, Jakarta, Indonesia, and Dhaka, Bangladesh. The aim of this study is to identify the main drivers behind flood disasters to improve disaster management and urban planning in these megacities. Utilizing the vantage of and recent advances in Earth Observations (EO) images and data, we assess urbanization patterns and associated hydrological changes for these cities. We found that LULC change is a principal driving factor behind urban flooding in Houston, Mexico City, and Dhaka. For Jakarta, both factors are equally important for urban flooding.



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