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Chris Zevenbergen, IHE Delft and TuDelft

Congrès INFRA 2019

2 au 4 décembre

Biographie du conférencier

Chris Zevenbergen is professor at the Water Engineering Department of IHE Delft and at TuDelft, The Netherlands. He is a visiting professor at the Southeast University (SEU), China. His research interest is specifically on innovative concepts and strategic planning to mitigate urban flood impacts, on flood proofing building designs and technologies and on decision support tool development in urban planning with practical application in urban flood management. He has a strong affinity with the ecological, socio-economic, institutional aspects of urban planning and water management. He has published/edited five books and more than 150 scientific publications in the field of environmental engineering and urban flood management. He was co-founder and chairman of the European Network COST C22 on Urban Flood Management. He is head of the Flood Resilience Chair Group (FRG) of IHE Delft. 

Résumé de conférence


Traditional flood risk management approaches are typically a result of reactive responses to flood disasters and are biased towards quick wins driven by political pressure to “do something”. Moreover, they are often based on static assumptions about long-term probabilities aimed at optimality and economic efficiency with uncertainties implicitly accounted for through safety factors and other allowances. Mainly driven by economic development and technological innovations, these approaches often result in large scale engineering responses. The sustainability of these infrastructure systems is currently under pressure as they are not sufficiently resilient to respond appropriately to slowly changing drivers and shocks. In addition, in the developed world, flood protection infrastructure is aging and reaching its design capacity. Although aging infrastructure poses a risk, it also provides opportunities, such as to correct old mistakes and introduce new technological and management approaches to adapt these systems to changing conditions and enhance their overall resilience.  Simultaneously, the global financial crisis has focused attention on the role of infrastructure renewal and development in economic stimulation and has reinforced government efforts to reduce expenditures. In an era of continued austerity, the challenge of governments seems to be to increase infrastructure’s capital efficiency. However, cost cutting in the near term can create increased costs in the longer term. For example, as flood defenses also attract asset investments, they can magnify flood risk if not upgraded regularly. Hence, continually investing in risk prevention is sensible as these upfront investments save money later on in terms of damage prevented
Based on international experiences, in this contribution guiding principles that could help drive future-proofing flood risk management approaches, will be presented. 

Date de publication


Challenges and opportunities in (urban) flood risk management. International experiences
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