Re-thinking urban flood management – time for a regime shift

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Urban flooding is of growing concern due to increasing densification of urban areas, changes in land use, and climate change. The traditional engineering approach to flooding is designing single-purpose drainage systems, dams, and levees. These methods, however, are known to increase the long-term flood risk and harm the riverine ecosystems in urban as well as rural areas. In the present paper, we depart from resilience theory and suggest a concept to improve urban flood resilience. We identify areas where contemporary challenges call for improved collaborative urban flood management. The concept emphasizes resiliency and achieved synergy between increased capacity to handle stormwater runoff and improved experiential and functional quality of the urban environments. We identify research needs as well as experiments for improved sustainable and resilient stormwater management namely, flexibility of stormwater systems, energy use reduction, efficient land use, priority of transport and socioeconomic nexus, climate change impact, securing critical infrastructure, and resolving questions regarding responsibilities.


External organisations
  • Malmö University
  • VA Syd
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Engineering and Technology
  • Social Sciences


  • urban flooding, resilience, climate change adaptation, blue-green urban solutions
Original languageEnglish
Article number332
Number of pages15
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Aug 4
Publication categoryResearch

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