The frequency and severity of flooding in coastal and urban communities due to climate change is increasing, resulting in unexpected costs, infrastructure damage, and community disruption. While communities are already experiencing the impacts of climate-related hazards, projections indicate that rising sea level and more frequent and intense storm events will continue, placing increased pressure on infrastructure, and forcing the need for adaptation to changing climate conditions. At Fuss & O’Neill, our structural and water resources engineers, landscape architects, and environmental and resilience scientists utilize a “toolkit” for flooding vulnerability reduction that leverages innovative and thoughtful floodproofing and site adaptation measures to increase public safety and maximize the potential remaining useful lives of critical infrastructure. This approach combines “grey” infrastructure techniques like floodproofing and structural solutions with “green” infrastructure measures like nature-based solutions that take advantage of natural processes to address flooding while providing co-benefits that include habitat enhancement and heat island reduction.
Municipalities, state agencies, developers, and housing authorities must confront the financial, operational, and community impacts from increasingly costly and destructive flood-related damage. While community-driven relocation may be necessary in the long term, measures like floodproofing can reduce damage and prolong the life of infrastructure during adaptation planning and implementation. Fuss & O’Neill’s approach to flood resilience evaluates the effects of community-level and site-level existing and anticipated flooding impacts. As opposed to immediate retreat and reconstruction on higher ground, our multipronged approach utilizes a multitude of complementary strategies, including floodproofing and site adaptation measures, which can provide immediate relief in the short term while allowing for additional time for the emergence of new technologies and approaches to flood mitigation.
We can work with you to recognize infrastructure vulnerability to flooding, assess feasible solutions, and understand the potential limitations and useful life of floodproofing and adaptation strategies.
Jason LeDoux, PE