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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by Oldenbourg Wissenschaftsverlag September 8, 2021

Practice Report “Smart Disaster Management” — Combining Smart City Data and Citizen Participation to Increase Disaster Resilience

Daniel Wessel ORCID logo, Julien Holtz and Florian König ORCID logo
From the journal i-com


Smart cities have a huge potential to increase the everyday efficiency of cities, but also to increase preparation and resilience in case of natural disasters. Especially for disasters which are somewhat predicable like floods, sensor data can be used to provide citizens with up-to-date, personalized and location-specific information (street or even house level resolution). This information allows citizens to better prepare to avert water damage to their property, reduce the needed government support, and — by connecting citizens locally — improve mutual support among neighbors.

But how can a smart city application be designed that is both usable and able to function during disaster conditions? Which smart city information can be used? How can the likelihood of mutual, local support be increased? In this practice report, we present the human-centered development process of an app to use Smart City data to better prepare citizens for floods and improve their mutual support during disasters as a case study to answer these questions.


This paper is based on the master thesis of the second author and a supervised bachelor project by the first and third author. We like to thank the project members Wiebke Lutz, Julia Richter, and Paul Siraf who developed the mutual support functionality for the app. We also like to thank all participants who evaluated the application and the anonymous reviewer who provided fair and useful feedback. Thank you very much.


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Published Online: 2021-09-08
Published in Print: 2021-08-26

© 2021 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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