Publications

Flood resilience of private properties

Hartmann, T.; Doorn-Hoekveld, Willemijn van; Rijswick, Marleen van; Spit, T.J.M.

Résumé

Flood Resilience of Private Properties examines the division and balance of responsibilities between the public and the private when discussing flood resilience of private properties.
Flooding is an expensive climate-related disaster and a threat to urban life. Continuing development in flood-prone zones compound the risks. Protecting all properties to the same standards is ever more challenging. Research has focused on improved planning and adapting publicly-owned infrastructure such as streets, evacuation routes, and retention ponds. However, damages often happen on private land. To realize a flood-resilient city, owners of privately-owned residential houses also need to act. Measures such as mobile barriers and backwater valves or avoiding vulnerable uses in basements can make homes more flood-resilient. But private owners may be unaware of flooding risks or may lack the means and knowledge to act. Incentives may be insufficient, while fragmented or unclear property rights and responsibilities entrench inertia. The challenge is motivating homeowners to take steps. Political and societal systems influence the action citizens are prepared to take and what they expect their governments to do. The responsibility for implementing such measures is shared between the public and the private domain in different degrees in different countries.