4 Enormous Projects That Could Save Coastal Cities In Our Flooded Future

The tides are rising. The only question that remains is how — and whether — we prepare our cities for it. As you might expect, the cities taking the most decisive action are the ones that have been hit the hardest most recently, like Sandy-battered New York, or partially-submerged Venice.

Tiny Changes In Earth's Gravity Can Help Predict Floods Months Away

When the Missouri River spilled over its banks in a catastrophic 2011 flood, we could have seen it coming — from space, that is. There’s more to the story than meets the eye: the satellites don’t take photos of snowpacks or rivers, but rather, they detect tiny changes in gravity over the Earth’s surface to track water.

Rising Waters Are Spawning A New Breed Of Cyborg Architecture

Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House, a masterpiece on the banks of the Fox River, has been hit by three different “100-year-floods” in the last 20 years. Now, preservationists are considering putting the home on permanent hydraulic jacks to lift it above floodwaters. The Farnsworth House would become a cyborg building — and it’s far from the only one.

Storm-Proofing NYC Will Cost At Least $US11 Billion, But It's Worth It

Humans are almost universally bad at planning for the distant future — most of us would rather live in blissful, unprepared ignorance than think about our superannuation. The same goes for cities: Dealing with the next storm is way easier than spending many billions of dollars to protect us from storms 20 years down the road.

Berlin Is Threatened From Below By Its Rising Water Table

While the American West stumbles forward into an already dangerous drought — and it’s barely even summer — Berliners are simply not using enough water. This means that the city’s water table is now on the rise, and it’s beginning to threaten the city’s buildings from below. Some basements have already been affected.

This Inflatable Tunnel Plug Stops Floods, Smoke And Gas

After Hurricane Sandy decimated the New York City subway system last year, officials pledged to install new devices to help halt the rising tides — including flood gates and, more intriguingly, a device called a “tunnel plug”.

Why We Don't Design Our Cities To Withstand 1000-Year Floods

The floods in the US state of Colarado are being described as “biblical”, and that word seems to fit for once. Boulder, for example, usually gets around 380mm of precipitation annually. This year, that amount has fallen in the 10 days since September 9 alone. On September 12, they received 229mm in one day.

Planning For The Next Sandy: Manhattan Building Installs $250,000 Gate

After Hurricane Sandy blew through New York in October, the lion’s share of media coverage focused on the beachfront where damage was most visible. In lower Manhattan though, the 3m storm surge took a subterranean toll, ruining millions of dollars worth of mechanical systems and forcing many developers to consider how they’d retrofit for the next big one.

How New York Will Stop The Subway From Flooding Next Time

New York knew for a long time that a big storm could flood and collapse the subway system, which is exactly what happened with Sandy. Yet city officials did nothing about it. But now, after all the suffering, we’ll finally be prepared.

A Levee Shields A House From The Mississippi River Floods

It seems like natural disaster after natural disaster these days. The Mississippi River has been flooding for a while now, and in order to fend it off, people have built levees around their homes as protection. Sometimes it works.

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