This report shares knowledge on land use planning as a tool for managing flood risks in cities worldwide. It shows that land use planning that incorporates flood risk information and integrates ecosystem- based measures can be cost-effective. It can be integrated in all stages of a flood risk management plan—from prevention and response to reconstruction—along with other measures, both structural and nonstructural.
The report recommends that a set of land use instruments be selected that addresses the type of local flood risk, that is acceptable to the community, and that can be implemented with local resources and technical capacity. Land use plans that address flood risk must be integrated within multiple sectors and at multiple scales: local area plans, city strategic plans, metropolitan visions, and watershed and national policies. This type of integration involves multiple public sector actors (city governments, public sector companies including utilities, and meteorological and planning institutions) as well as actors from civil society, educational institutions, research centers, and the private sector— and all must be coordinated to ensure they work effectively.
Ultimately, successful land use planning for flood risk management requires investment in two areas: (i) educating decision makers and communities about the role of land use planning in managing flood risks, and (ii) building sufficient technical and governance capacity to formulate, implement, and manage a flood risk–based land use planning process.