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  • Investing in risk-informed infrastructure to support flood resilience
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Investing in risk-informed infrastructure to support flood resilience

Source(s):  International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Practical Action
Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center (Risk Center)
Zurich Insurance Group Limited

This policy brief recommends investing in infrastructure as a cost-effective way to ensure flood resilience, but it must be risk-informed and be part of an integrated flood management strategy. Despite being a global issue, effective flood risk management is highly complex and there is no one-size-fits-all solution to implement universally.

Key recommendations

  • Development must be restricted in hazard zones, and incentives for development that lead to urbanization of risk areas should be avoided.
  • Provision must be made for effective large-scale flood risk management practices including soft (erosion control, river widening, natural retention areas) and hard (levees, reservoirs and other constructional features) protection.
  • Technical protection should be used to safeguard existing settlements rather than to encourage new assets in floodplains.
  • Clear and up-to-date building codes that mitigate flood risk should be provided, and communities must adhere to them.
  • Enable communities to enhance self-protection and risk reduction through incentives and subsidies.

Also available in Spanish: Invertir en infraestructura que responda a los riesgos para fomentar la resiliencia ante las inundaciones  



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  • Investing in risk-informed infrastructure to support flood resilience
  • Publication date 2017
  • Number of pages 2 p.

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