A study by two Old Dominion University researchers about the potential cost-savings of a city strategically buying houses prone to damage from severe storms was recently awarded top paper at an international engineering conference.
At September's Institution of Civil Engineers Coastal Management 2019 conference in La Rochelle, France, a paper by Joshua Behr and Carol Considine was singled out from among 175 submissions from many countries for its novel and groundbreaking approach to mitigating damage from storm damage and flooding as sea levels rise worldwide.
"Part of the recognition at the conference came from the contrast," said Behr, associate professor at ODU's Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center (VMASC). "Every other presentation involved hardening coastlines and building protective barriers. No one considered the value of strategic retreat."
The paper by Behr and Considine, supported by funding from the Commonwealth Center for Recurrent Flooding Resiliency (CCRFR), makes the case that there can be a greater return on investment over time for communities systematically buying parcels of storm damage-prone properties than for building massive flood-protection infrastructure or periodically rebuilding flood-damaged homes.Read more >