Sustainable management of urban flooding

Urban flooding is an increasing problem, both in Sweden and in the world. One reason is climate change, but the main reasons are that our societies are not designed to handle extreme downpours. It is also unclear which public bodies are responsible for minimizing the risks.

In order to deal with the flooding problem in a sustainable way, we need to abandon previous mindsets with ”hard solutions” and instead build resilient cities. In the project Sustainable management of urban flooding, the focus was on soft aspects such as stakeholder participation and social learning. It is an approach that pervades the EU’s flood directive, but which has not been fully implemented in Sweden.

The project Sustainable management of urban flooding has done case studies in Malmö, Helsingborg, Gothenburg and Höje å catchment area (Lomma, Lund, Staffanstorp) in order to analyze what obstacles exist to work with Sustainable management of urban flooding and to develop strategies to overcome them. The project focused on existing buildings and infrastructure.

In order to have the best possible conditions for success, the research group consisted of experts from several subject areas. The participants came from technical water resource studies, water technology, risk management, architecture, the institute for food economic analysis, GIS center, all at Lund University, and Culture and Society at Malmö University.

The project was mainly financed by Formas and co-financed by Sweden Water Research, Region Skåne, Höje å Vattenråd, Länsförsäkringar Skåne and the City of Gothenburg. The co-financiers took an active part in the project.

  • Increase the sustainability of existing buildings with regard to flood risks
  • Find effective organizational models for sustainable flood management
  • Propose measures for improved flood management in urban environments in Sweden

Mobini, S. (2021) Just or Unjust: Assessment of rainfall-related flood damage in a Swedish context Water Resources Engineering, Lund University,

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