Login     Sign Up     |      Home      Regions      Verify a Certification     EBA Portal    

Cities Should Invest in Proper Flood Protection to Ensure Safer and Cheaper Future


Experts believe that the news will continue to be filled with images of flood victims trying to rescue everything they can unless cities take the initiative and start building the latest high-tech, environmentally friendly flood prevention measures.
 
Given that the wetlands of these megacities are being paved over to make room for offices and apartment blocks, it won’t be the easiest task in the world to convince them to find room to build parks designed to absorb water and the other potential flood prevention measures.
 
One of the easiest and cheapest ways to manage floods and natural disasters is through forward planning. Around two-thirds of the urban areas that will in existence by 2030 haven’t actually been built yet, making now the time to act.
 
Of course there is a major initial investment in these measures, but any city that takes them on is just making the most out of their space and their people. There are also the political implications to consider, given how hard it is to get the votes of people who lose their homes – if not their lives – because a politician failed to act.
 
In September 2017, hurricane Irma has also been tearing through the Caribbean, and Texas and Louisiana were just devastated by Hurricane Harvey. This is on top of the 1,400 people killed during the monsoon floods in South Asia.
 
There is clearly a need for cities to begin development on preparing properly for storms and floods, which account for 70% of natural disasters. These disasters are expected to only become worse as the issue of climate change continues to intensify.
 
That the problem is so urgent makes the decision easier. If you see the damage caused by these intense floods and hurricanes, then it becomes even more obvious that something has to be done. This opens up a lot of opportunity to ensure that these preparations are made.
 
Even though there is more demand than ever to protect the population, many cities just don’t have the money to provide anything above basic drainage systems. They would have no chance of developing the pipes protecting Tokyo or the barriers keeping Rotterdam safe from oceanic invasion.
 
Experts believe that the next frontier of development will be the best ways to build near the watersheds of city fringes. That there is such a limited amount of funding from projects for flood prevention means that cities have to find better ways to bring in investment from the private sector.
 
Some cities – particularly those where flooding damages land values – have taken to negotiating with investors; offering them the chance to build in protected zones in exchange for money for flood defenses and the promise to build safer housing.
 
The slum communities of Nairobi and Dar es Salaam are also looking into ways to improve local flood defenses. While it may take time for green infrastructure to be established, and while it is difficult to judge their worth ahead of disaster, mayors have begun realizing how important it is to consider schemes that will last longer than their term in office.
 
It will be much cheaper to make preparations and adapt to climate change now than it would be to correct the issue of being unprepared. Cities must start work now if they hope to prevent the potential damage of future flooding.