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CentrePiece article
Flooded Cities
Adriana Kocornik-Mina, Thomas K.J. McDermott, Guy Michaels and Ferdinand Rauch
February 2016
Paper No' CEPCP463:
Full Paper (pdf)

CentrePiece 20 (3) Winter 2015/2016

JEL Classification: R11; Q54

Tags: urbanization; flooding; climate change; urban recovery

Economic activity tends to return to flood-prone areas after floods rather than relocating to higher ground. What’s more, cities built in flood-prone areas are locking in exposure to flood risk for the long term. These are among the findings of research by Guy Michaels and colleagues, which investigates why so many cities are hit by floods year after year. The misery that floods have been inflicting on UK residents in recent weeks is part of a major global problem, the study shows: over the past 30 years, floods worldwide have killed more than 500,000 people and displaced over 650 million people. Yet despite their exposure to flooding, low elevation urban areas continue to concentrate a high density of economic activity.

This article summarises ‘Flooded Cities’ by Adriana Kocornik-Mina, Guy Michaels, Thomas McDermott and Ferdinand Rauch, CEP Discussion Paper No.1398, December 2015.