Theses Master's

Embracing Water: A Study on How Cities Have Planned for Floods in the Past

Sophonpanich, Siriporn Julie

Every year, over one hundred million people are affected by floods. Flooding can come in many different shapes and forms, such as storm surges, heavy rainfall, high tidal levels, and river floods. There are numerous scientific researches on flooding and the different ways that cities and city agencies have approached flooding. However, very little literature ties together accounts of floods and urban planning. This thesis investigates the different ways cities have planned for flood-prone disasters in the past.

In order to further analyze past planning efforts, three case studies were chosen to represent vulnerable flood-prone cities. Rotterdam, New York City, and Bangkok were chosen as case studies for this thesis for their long history of dealing with flood-related issues and their current flood planning initiatives. Although the case studies chosen do not represent all types of floods in every city around the world, they gave an example of how cities vulnerable to flood have planned for disasters in the past. The analysis of the three case studies was structured to provide context, conceptual framework, and discussion in relation to each other. The lessons learned from these three case studies provided takeaways of good planning processes that can be studied and implemented in a different country that is also facing flood-prone disasters.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Urban Planning
Thesis Advisors
Freeman, Lance M.
M.S., Columbia University
Published Here
July 10, 2014