Flood Resilience

The Flood Resilience chair group (FRG) aims at advancing and disseminating scientific knowledge and practical application into this emerging area to cultivate drought & flood resilience in urban communities and built-up areas.

The Flood Resilience chair group (FRG) is a multi-disciplinary research group with an established national and international reputation in (urban) flood resilience. Rooted in Dutch and European funded research projects and with strong ties to Delft University of Technology, FRG has recently extended its focus into a global perspective, including the developing countries mainly in Asia.


There is a growing international recognition that flood risk management, in its ideal sense, should be a programmed and flexible process of continuously improving management practices directed to enhance resilience by active learning about the outcome of earlier and ongoing interventions and drivers of change. FRG aims at advancing and disseminating scientific knowledge and practical application into this emerging area to cultivate drought & flood resilience in urban communities and built-up areas.

How we work

FRG is involved in a number of national and international research projects. In the majority of these studies learning (education and capacity building) and research are developed together with local, regional, and national actors. This is an important feature of FRG as it aims to actively participate in the design and implementation of integrated (drought and) flood risk management strategies while conducting research. The ultimate goal of this approach is to provide insights and guidance to stakeholders to effectively address the urban water (drought and flood) challenges through action research and capacity building. Another important feature of FRG is its strong involvement in Dutch research programs and (full-scale) in situ experiments. For example, through its academic partnership with the City of Dordrecht and its participation in the Dutch Delta Program, FRG is actively involved at the forefront of this process. This involvement is crucial in providing the insights, tools and commitment needed to develop and implement long-term, robust, flood risk management strategies, which are applicable world-wide as well as nationally.

By and large FRG’s research activities are inherently multi-disciplinary. These activities comprise:

  1. Quantifying impacts of changing drivers for urban flood risk including assessing the resilience of urban flooding systems (system analysis)
  2. Developing adaptive responses to enhance the system’s ability to withstand, cope with and recover from flood and drought (planning, engineering and design)
  3. Transition management and adaptive management for urban flooding systems (governance).

Increasingly FRG is becoming involved in the wider aspects of the water cycle and with future cities, their form, dynamics and livability and sustainability. It has invested in engaging with relevant international knowledge networks, organizations and programs such as CRC, WSUD, UNISDR, DLR MegaCities Program and ADB’s green cities programme.

City-to-City learning

IHE Delft aims for cities to become learning organizations by engaging in city learning networks. Many of the problems cities are facing are shared by other cities, even on the other side of the world. Often they have complementary strengths and weaknesses and by cooperating, they can offer reciprocal support and services. 

Read more here

Involvement in the Dutch Water Sector

The Dutch Water sector has always played a leading role in the international water market through its advanced knowledge, expertise and technology. UIHE (formerly IHE) owes its very existence to the recognition of Dutch expertise in water management. Today, in The Netherlands new approaches are being developed to help to ‘live with water’ rather than fight it, which are also applicable worldwide to mitigating the increasing numbers of global flood disasters.

FRG is involved in the development and implementation of innovative approaches: Room for The River, the Multi-Level Safety (MLS) approach and Adaptive Delta Management (Delta Program). MLS holistically addresses the whole ‘safety chain’ ranging from protection, to prevention and finally to preparedness. Building demonstrations in for example the city of Dordrecht, pilot projects will be delivered within the Delta Program to explore the potential of MLS to reduce current risk levels further.

FRG has made substantial contributions in e.g. flood damage assessment, adaptive delta management, mainstreaming, as well as aspects in flood resiliency, especially in the Rhine-Estuary- Drechtsteden area. FRG has contributed to the Delta Program, Rotterdam Adaptation Strategy, Dordrecht UFM strategy, and the National Water Plan.


FRG is involved in teaching in a number of modules of the four masters programs of UIHE. The topics range from Climate Change to Flood modeling, from Asset Management of Urban Water Systems to Resilience of Cities. These involvements provide opportunities for FRG to transfer the knowledge and experience gained from involvement in a number of research projects in Dutch/European context as well as in Australia (e.g. CRC) and the developing countries (e.g. MARE- Asia).

Research lines

Staff members

PhD fellows