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Technologies for the cost-effective Flood Protection of the Built Environment

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Managing flood risks with novel technology

Floods are a constant threat to urban areas and coastal zones in Europe. An EU initiative developed tools to mitigate the effects of floods in Europe that will help save lives and protect assets across the continent.

Climate Change and Environment

Over EUR 40 billion are spent yearly on protecting assets and people from floods, prompting authorities to seek more effective ways to improve flood resilience and mitigation. The overall aim of the EU-funded project 'Technologies for the cost-effective flood protection of the built environment' (FLOODPROBE) was to develop cost-efficient technologies, methods and tools for assessing flood risks, strengthening critical infrastructure and upgrading vulnerable buildings in urban areas. To achieve its aims, the project team upgraded flood risk maps and used advanced numerical models and a geographic information system-based solution to analyse critical infrastructure networks more comprehensively. Researchers developed a remote sensing technology that would be useful for assessing the effectiveness of extended periods of flood defence. To tackle flooding, they designed a soil-strengthening technique that reinforces flood defences. Tools were developed to streamline risk assessment on various infrastructures and to model the interdependency between infrastructure networks after a disaster. A system was created to identify the likelihood of damage to non-residential buildings in flood scenarios. The partners improved on the prediction of costs related to building damage. In addition to the tools developed, the team studied erosion processes and documented testing facilities in Europe to measure erosion parameters. It then developed a typology for structure transitions covering performance, design and repair solutions. Studies also involved a review of key flood events where defence failure in relation to structure transition occurred, identifying knowledge gaps related to erosion. FLOODPROBE focused on developing knowledge of urban flood defences and critical infrastructure in order to minimise and deal with the risks that floods pose to human health, the environment, cultural heritage and economic activity. The project envisions turning flood risks into opportunities that could lead to significant societal and economic benefits.

Keywords

Floods, urban areas, coastal zones, flood protection, built environment

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