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Human Geography

Nicklas Guldåker

Senior Lecturer

Human Geography



  • Jonas Johansson
  • Björn Arvidsson
  • Nicklas Guldåker
  • Linn Svegrup

Summary, in English

Although there have been significant advances in the research field of critical infrastructures and vital societal functions during the last decade, there still exist many challenges in implementing and carrying out studies in practice. One of these challenges is a feasible method for mapping, analysing and visualising the cascading consequences that arise for critical infrastructures and societal functions affected by large spatial hazards. The presented study is the result from commissioned work for the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB), aiming at contributing to improved risk, vulnerability and continuity management for regions in Sweden at risk of being affected by severe spatial hazards. The study takes it basis from, and connects to, ongoing work in Sweden relating to the risk of severe flooding events in accordance to the EU Floods Directive and work related to critical infrastructure protection in accordance to the EU Directive on European Critical Infrastructures. The results from the study where mainly derived through a literature review and workshops, utilising a flood prone region in Sweden as a case. The literature review focused on methods and approaches, both scientific and in grey literature, for estimation, visualisation and weighing of consequence arising for critical infrastructures and vital societal functions for large spatial hazards. Here a specific focus was on literature addressing the issue of interdependencies and the use of GIS. The workshops involved participants from critical infrastructure operators, municipalities, regional county boards, MSB, Statistics Sweden, among others, aiming at the practical needs and challenges for a method and for testing the developed method. From the literature review it was clear that most studies focus on analysing the direct consequences of large spatial hazards. Only few studies address the indirect consequences that arise due to interdependencies, revealing that indirect consequences can be as high or higher than the direct consequences. This necessitates the need for addressing indirect consequences systematically. The review also highlighted that the required underlying data is not easily attainable and comes with several challenges with respect to collection, analysis and visualization of the results for decision making. The developed method is concluded to both fulfil a need, as expressed by the participants in the workshops, and was considered as a feasible approach to start addressing the issue of cascading consequences during large spatial events. However, we also conclude that, based on the literature review and the practical challenges present in this area, ample research opportunities exist.


  • Division of Risk Management and Societal Safety
  • Department of Human Geography

Publishing year






Document type

Conference paper: abstract


  • Environmental Analysis and Construction Information Technology
  • Human Geography


  • Cascading events
  • Critical infrastructure
  • Flooding
  • Risk
  • Vulnerability
  • Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency
  • EU Floods Directive
  • geographical information system (GIS)
  • Spatial Hazards
  • Vital societal functions
  • Critical infrastructure
  • Cascading Effects
  • Vital societal functions
  • Flooding
  • EU Floods Directive
  • Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency
  • GIS
  • Geographic Information System (GIS)
  • Sweden
  • Spatial analysis
  • Continuity management
  • Risk analysis
  • Vulnerability analysis

Conference name


Conference date

2018-11-08 - 2018-11-09

Conference place

Stavanger, Norway




  • Modelling of dependencies and cascading effects for emergency management in crisis situations
  • CenCIP
  • Developed risk management and Critical Infrastructures