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Urban Flooding

General considerations

Urban flooding is of growing concern due to increasing densification of urban areas, changes in land use, and climate change. The traditional engineering approach to flooding is designing single-purpose drainage systems, dams, and levees. These methods, however, are known to increase the long-term flood risk and harm the riverine ecosystems in urban as well as rural areas.

Severe flooding has hit highly developed cities like Prague, Dresden, and several other cities (2002), Bern and several other cities (2005), New Orleans (2005), Copenhagen (2010, 2011, and 2014), and New York (2012), as well as areas like Queensland (2010), South-western England (2013-2014), and the French Riviera (2015). The societal consequences are severe. In Europe only, the average cost of flood damages between 2000 and 2012 has been estimated to about 4.9 billion euros per year. It is estimated that this figure may increase to about 23.5 billion per year by 2050, i.e., with almost 400% [1].

Urban flooding in Sweden

Sweden, due to its climate and low population density, has not experienced any major flood disasters. However, there have been enough flood events with serious consequences for a noticeable, strong increase of the interest in flood management from politicians, media, and stakeholders like the insurance companies.

Some urban flood events in Sweden:

· Arvika, 2000

· Sundsvall, 2001

· Kristianstad, 2002

· Arvika, 2011

· Malmö, 2014

· Hallsberg, 2015

· Bjuv, 2016

 

 

[1].Jongman, B.; Hochrainer-Stigler, S.; Feyen, L.; Aerts, J.C.J.H.; Mechler, R.; Botzen, W.J.W.; Bouwer, L.M.; Pflug, G.; Rojas, R.; Ward, P.J. Increasing stress on disaster-risk finance due to large floods. Nat. Clim. Chang. 2014, 4, 264-268.

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