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Centre for Sustainable Development

Est 2000 - home of the MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development

Urban Flooding

An adaptation pathways approach has been developed to address what is the most suitable mix of grey and blue-green solutions to urban flooding at any location and at any future time. The interactions between the rural and urban parts of a catchment are often not considered, so we have also been evaluating the effectiveness of catchment scale approaches in mitigating urban surface water flooding.

Specifically, this has involved a coupled modelling approach which links Dynamic TOPODEL, HECTRAS and Infoworks ICM to assess the scope for Natural Flood Management measures such as woody debris dams, tree planting and upstream floodplain storage on moderating water levels in downstream urban watercourses allowing free discharge from urban storm drains during periods of high rainfall.

The urban stormwater itself can be utilised as a valuable resource: in London we have examined the feasibility of managed aquifer storage of stormwater and also its energy generation potential through micro hydropower installations at the discharge of SuDS ponds.


Readings and resources

  • Kapetas L., Fenner R.A.(2020) "An adaptation pathways approach to planning urban flood resilience", Royal Society Philosophical Transactions - A special edition on Urban Flood Resilience, Volume 378 Issue 2168, 3 April 2020, ISSN 1364-503X


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Urban Flood Resilience


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