Urban Flooding, Nature-Based Solutions and Socio-environmental Services

Urban Flooding, Nature-Based Solutions and Socio-environmental Services


Dr Leon Kapetas
Centre for Sustainable Development
University of Cambridge, UK
Email: lk411@cam.ac.uk


Workshop Description

Floods result in both life and economic losses in cities of different scales across the developed and developing world. In the UK alone, economic losses from the 2014 floods amounted to more than £1bn. It is not only rare catastrophic events that matter: being more frequent (return periods 1 in 5 years and above), events of smaller intensity can have a detrimental cumulative impact on the economy as they cause extensive disruption and damage to properties and infrastructure. Flooding is becoming more frequent as climate change has led to the intensification of extreme weather.

Urbanisation taking place at an unprecedented rate increases these pressures: hard-infrastructure becomes quickly outdated as its design capacity is exceeded. Poor urban planning and a lack of effective surface water management policies and practice can increase exposure and vulnerability.

Within this broader context, this workshop explores the important role that nature-based solutions play in reducing flood risk and delivering multiple socio-environmental services. Participants interested in retrofit and new-built environments in either developed or developing country contexts will find this workshop relevant to their work. Topics that will be covered include:

  • Pluvial vs Fluvial Flooding: which nature-based solutions work best
  • Assessing the impact of nature-based solutions: monitoring, risk information, modelling and cost-benefit analysis
  • Benefits during non-flood conditions: the secret to making the business case for nature-based solutions
  • Delivering the socio-environmental services: a natural capital approach
  • Interoperable designs: a multi-stakeholder integrated approach
  • Combining hard-engineering with nature-based approaches: interfaces in the urban environment
  • Successful case studies: from design and financing through to construction and maintenance