Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-7635

Article | Open Access

Less is More? Evaluating Technical Aspects and User Experiences of Smart Flood Risk Assessment Tools

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In light of several recent large-scale flooding events worldwide, the urgency of involving residents in the flood risk management debate is growing. However, this has so far proven to be problematic, mainly because of lacking or ineffective communication between stakeholders. One way to better involve residents in the flood risk management debate is by developing smart applications, dedicated to facilitate and increase the insights of residents into the flood risk and vulnerability of their private properties. However, what is lacking thus far is a systematic evaluation of the technical aspects and the user experiences of such tools. The goal of this article is to explore and evaluate the technical, analytical, and communicative qualities of smart flood risk assessment tools. To this end, a new smart application named FLOODLABEL is used, aiming to inform residents of flood-prone areas about potential flood risks and associated protection measures of their dwellings. Based on this, the article concludes that a smart application like FLOODLABEL can be beneficial for informing residents about flood risks and potential protection measures. However, it also shows that a one-size-fits-all approach is not suitable for informing residents on flood risks, inter alia because how residents perceive risks is not homogeneous. This research is therefore just the first step towards a more systematic evaluation method of smart applications.

Keywords:  flood risk governance; planning support; pluralism; risk communication; task-technology fit; user-technology fit


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© Patrick A. Witte, Karin A. W. Snel, Stan C. M. Geertman. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.