Rain, floods and green infrastructure: Are cities mitigating the hazards equitably?

South Africa: Historic floods leave trail of destruction

South Africa is battling with the consequences of one of the biggest natural disasters in the country’s history. Devastating floods triggered by intense rainfall have killed more than 340 people around the city of Durban. DW’s Adrian Kriesch reports…

Rain, floods and green infrastructure: Are cities mitigating the hazards equitably?

As cities grow, the area of impervious surfaces they cover grows. In cities across the US, roads, rooftops, parking lots, sidewalks and driveways increased by an average of 326,000 hectares per year between 2012 and 2017.

“Flooding is the costliest natural hazard, but when we talk about flooding, the focus is often on the floodplain, on rivers.”

Arun Pallathadka, a Ph.D. student in the Earth, Environment and Society program at Portland State,

When it rains, stormwater gathers on these surfaces or flows into gutters, storm drains and sewer systems. However, extreme precipitation events can overwhelm a city’s capacity to transport stormwater, resulting in urban floods. The introduction of green infrastructures (GI), such as bioswales with permeable surfaces, has provided municipalities with a new tool to manage flood risk associated with rainfall. Cities including Portland, Phoenix and Atlanta have developed plans and invested in implementing GI to mitigate the risk of floods…READ ON

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