Major Cities Face High Risk of Flooding According to a Goldman Sachs Report

Goldman Sachs has released a report on the effects of climate change on cities across the world. The study explored the major changes that will transform the planet and highlighted several metropolises that will be at risk of flooding.

HO CHI MINH CITY, VIET NAM- OCT 18, 2016: Awful flooded street at Asian city, crowd of people ride motorcycle wade in water from tide on road, climate change make sea level rise, Vietnam. Image © Shutterstock/ by xuanhuongho

Climate change could reshape the earth”, states clearly the report. In fact, the study that tackles how to make cities resilient to climate change, adapting and living throughout this epoch, underlines that the potential risks for global warming will be significant. With consequences on human health, food and agriculture, water, weather, natural disasters, and the urban environment, the hazards could even make adaptation critical. Potential outcomes can include “more frequent, more intense and longer-lasting heatwaves, changing disease patterns, shifting agricultural arrangements and food shortages”. Regarding water, the Goldman Sachs report states that "half of the world's population will live in water-stressed areas as soon as 2025”.

Venice, Italy - 29 October 2018:Tourists wearing rain wellies walk in the water during exceptional Acqua Alta - High Tide Floods. 70% of the lagoon city has been flooded by waters rising 149 cm. Image © Shutterstock/ by pcruciatti

Cities, home to more than half of the world’s population and under rapid urbanization, will be at the center of this challenge. Vulnerable to more frequent storms, higher temperatures, rising sea levels, and storm surges, the perils are huge, with “40% of the population living within 100 kilometers of a coast, and one in 10 people living in areas less than 10 meters above sea level”. New York, Tokyo, and Lagoscould be subject to storm surges and could face harmful flooding”. Other at-risk cities include regions that are less than 11 meters above sea level like Miami, Florida; Alexandria, Egypt; Dhaka, Bangladesh; and Shanghai, China.

Rising sea levels and storm surges put parts of New York City, Tokyo and Lagos at risk of flooding. Image Courtesy of NASA’s SRTMv3, Goldman Sachs Global Investment Research

Urban adaptation could drive one of the largest infrastructure build-outs in history”. In fact, in order to generate resilient cities, major and rapid actions should be taken whether on an urban planning level, or in a specific infrastructural system including “investments in coastal protections, upgraded water, and waste-management systems, energy resilience and stronger communications and transportation systems”.

Washington, DC - April 29, 2017: Thousands of people attend the People's Climate March to stand up against climate change.. Image © Shutterstock/ by RNicole Glass Photography

A lot of cities have started to invest in adaptability, and a lot of new projects are exploring this field. Actually, recently a new master plan for the Northern Brooklyn waterfront, designed by BIG and Field Operations, explored a new approach to urban resiliency. The proposal puts in place “Berms, breakwaters, marshes, and wetlands in open spaces to increase resilience by taking the energy out of storm surges, reducing flooding, providing more room to absorb water and slow down its retreat”. Moreover, Sasaki proposed the Ho Chi Minh City Innovation District in Vietnam with similar ideas, taking into consideration the increasing flood risk in the southern part of Vietnam. On another hand, the city of Miami had launched an open competition to transform a flood-prone lot in North Miami, in order to reduce the cost of flood insurance, reinvigorate underused communal areas, and promote climate consciousness.

News Via Markets Insider.

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Cite: Christele Harrouk. "Major Cities Face High Risk of Flooding According to a Goldman Sachs Report" 31 Dec 2019. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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