Brett Sanders, Blum Center Researcher on Climate Extremes, was recently interviewed by Ailsa Chang for NPR regarding cities protecting themselves from flooding. As more people begin to move towards coastal cities in the U.S., the risk of these cities being negatively impacted by flooding increases at unsettling rates. Sanders goes on to say that on a 1-10 scale, the cities he and his team have seen fall around a 5 for flood resilience, noting that the U.S. has not been creating structures built to tolerate the flooding we anticipate. 

When Chang asked what local governments should do to tackle their lack of flood-resilient infrastructure, Sanders told her their first step should be to map out the most at-risk areas and consider leaving these areas open for nature to reduce the risk of harm. Secondly, Sanders advises revisiting building codes to create buildings that will last through a storm or flood. Finally, he goes on to say in urban areas, water should have space to move and be redirected for draining. 

The rest of the interview focuses on the southeast, with Sanders creating a game plan for urban planners to create better infrastructure and better opportunities for the cities to create safer spaces when hurricanes and floods come around. 

Are you interested in reading or listening to more? You can click here to access the entire interview.