Unflooding Asia


By Zoran Vojinovic and Jingmin Huang, Intl Water Assn, November, 2014

A continuing increase in disasters triggered by fl oods occurs almost daily even though our technological capabilities have grown rapidly and global economic growth per capita has doubled. This paradoxical situation proves that our earlier ways of thinking are inadequate and that we must shift our way of thinking and working. It has become obvious that most fl ood-related disasters, although commonly referred to as natural disasters, are not the result of nature-related processes alone. Some of the early efforts in dealing with fl oods and fl ood-related disasters were only concerned with the construction of engineering structures (e.g., levees, fl oodwalls, dams, embankments, storage basins, diversions, etc.) without signifi cant consideration of aspects which are nowadays regarded as equally important, if not more important. There is a great deal of natural, social and technological interactions that shape the vulnerability to fl oods.

Realizing that fl ood risk can hardly ever be completely eliminated, the traditional ‘fl ood defence’ culture has been replaced with the culture of learning how to live under fl ood risk and how to better respond to it. This renders purely engineering solutions inadequate.

Can the threats of more fl ood-related disasters provide an impetus to shift our mind-set towards an approach that favors not only sound technological innovations but one that also addresses the social, cultural, and wider ecological aspects of dealing with fl oods? In this illustrated book, ADB seeks to introduce a holistic thinking in dealing with urban fl oods by adopting the green cities development approach. Green cities development is a holistic approach which promotes multipurpose (or multifunctional) solutions that are not only technologically and economically effi cient, but which are also ecologically sustainable and socially just.

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