Water hazards like floods, intense rainfall, and droughts can have devastating impacts on societies and their economies. Recovering from these impacts might be very difficult, especially in urban contexts where various social and technical systems are intertwined and interdependent. Over the coming decades it is expected that both the frequency and intensity of water hazard will continue to increase as a result of climate change, rural-urban migration, population growth and increased scarcity of water resources. Building resilience to these hazards – the ability of a community, society or area to remain functioning under a range of hazard magnitudes – therefore remains an important need to sustain the livability and economic competiveness of cities.
The research line on “Water Hazard Resilient Cities” has been tailored to address this key issue for policy makers, practitioners and community stakeholders. It aims to advance knowledge for anticipation and planning for the effects of more frequent and intense water hazards and for adaptation to increased uncertainty. Therefore, this research line addresses and integrates the social and technical dynamics in all phases of the safety chain (protection, prevention, preparedness). Research is carried out on a wide range of issues, from assessing costs, risks and opportunities to the demonstration of adaptation measures (flood-proof critical infrastructures, amphibious buildings) and implementation approaches (learning and action alliances).