When it rains, it pours: a dialogue on urban flooding across the U S


Flooding has long been the most costly and deadly natural hazard in the U.S. Although most major flood events have occurred from river flooding or in coastal areas, all communities are susceptible to the unique risks of urban flooding. Urban flooding occurs when rainfall and runoff exceed the capacity of the local drainage system. Urban flooding has received greater attention in recent years because many urban drainage systems are not designed to manage the increasingly intense rain events brought on by a changing climate and the flashier runoff conditions caused by expanding urban development. While the focus on this issue is new, many low-income communities and communities of color have experienced urban flooding for years due to a lack of infrastructure investment. Equitable solutions to urban flooding will require grappling with the legacy of discrimination and disinvestment. This session will educate participants on the causes of urban flooding, how urban flooding differs from river and coastal flooding, and how climate change is driving more frequent and dangerous urban flooding disasters. Participants will gain knowledge of how the decisions we make as planners can exacerbate the problem or help to improve outcomes. Panelists Dámaris Villalobos-Galindo (Associate Engineer at Santa Clara Valley Water District), Samuel D. Brody (Regents Professor, Department of Marine and Coastal Environmental Science at Texas A&M University, Galveston Campus), Cyatharine Alias (Manager of Community Infrastructure & Resilience at Center for Neighborhood Technology) and Julia Rockwell (Manager of the Climate Change Adaptation Program at the Philadelphia Water Department) will share case studies from across the U.S., with examples of how different local climate conditions and land use patterns can lead to urban flooding. The panel will describe the work of local agencies, non-profits, and residents to identify and implement solutions. The discussion will consider the role of planners in addressing this challenge.

Guest Host: HMDR Division

CM | 1.5


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