How cities are rebuilding to be more resilient to natural disasters

Building flood resistance in Indonesia: new approaches being implemented (video)

People and vehicles stranded in floodwaters, inundated business premises, interrupted connectivity, and access to other services cut off. Does this need to be the new normal in the era of climate change in Indonesia’s growing cities? We don’t think so. New approaches can be employed to address flood risks through risk-informed urban design and innovative measures.

Over the past 20 years floods have impacted more people in Indonesia than any other type of natural disaster, causing significant damage and disrupting local and regional economies. In 2019 alone, floods in South Sulawesi, Papua, and Bengkulu caused over 220 deaths, with damage and losses estimated at $128 million.

The poor and vulnerable bear the brunt of floods, often because they live in vulnerable areas and have limited assets to recover from flood events. In addition, poor‑quality infrastructure is often constructed in flood‑prone areas, with inadequate consideration of risk‑informed planning and building codes…


How cities are rebuilding to be more resilient to natural disasters

Each year, Rebuild by Design, a nonprofit started after Hurricane Sandy hit the Northeast Coast in 2012, hosts multiple innovative design competitions, modeled after the international competition launched by President Obama’s Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force.

Fourteen years after Hurricane Katrina, the neighborhood of Gentilly, New Orleans, is still in the process of rebuilding.

Even after experiencing the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history, residents wanted to stay in their neighborhoods– going so far as to fight the city’s controversial “green dot” plan, which would have abandoned neighborhoods like Gentilly and turned them into wetlands.

In response to the pushback, New Orleans came up with an alternate solution: allow residents to remain in their homes, but also retrofit the area’s landscape to help the neighborhood better withstand the next natural disaster. The plan included new ditches, rain barrels and dry creeks designed to hold substantial amounts of water and reduce runoff that could destroy homes and other property…


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