Are our cities just too big to flood ?

Flood in BangkokThis was the question asked on the the Yale Environment 360 blog and I believe the timing is perfect as last year cities such as New York City, Manila and Bangkok got it by record floods. Now it is the turn of Jakarta.

The capital megacity of Indonesia now has water in its streets and people to evacuate because of another flood. Given that rising temperatures mean rising sea levels and more extreme weather, the threat is huge.

First in terms of people – as the majority of people will live in cities in 2050 and as 14 of the world’s 17 largest cities are located along coasts.

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Many large cities at risk due to rising sea levels

To new research carried out and recently released by Maplecroft, many booming megalopolis around the world are at extreme risk because of rising sea levels and other consequences of climate change.

Manila, Jakarta and Kolkata (formerly known as Calcutta) would be threatened the most. Others cities, including Mumbai (Bombay), Delhi, Chennai, Karachi, Lagos and Guangdong, would also be in danger.

This reminds me of a series of posts I had published here as early as 2008 on that very subject. This time, the research had been carried out by the OECD and the World Bank.

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