Urban Systems Lab Selected for Interdisciplinary Research Team Studying Stormwater Flood Risks in New York City

Hurricanes Florence, Maria, and Harvey are just a few of the devastating storms that have hit parts of the United States in the past year, leading to millions of dollars in damage, displacement, and death.  

In New York City, a new team of interdisciplinary researchers will work with NYC’s Department of Environmental Protection and the Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency to carry out a $1.8M study of urban and compound flood risks associated with current and future extreme rain events.

New York City’s location and dense urban environment make it uniquely vulnerable to flooding. Hurricane Sandy dramatically demonstrated New York’s vulnerability to coastal flooding. In New York City, urban flood risk is compounded when rainfall and storm surge occur simultaneously. However, less is known about inland and precipitation driven flooding. The combination of more frequent extreme precipitation events, ongoing sea-level rise, coastal flooding, and land use change increasingly overwhelms the city’s stormwater conveyance systems, leading to both flooding and degraded water quality.

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