01 Sep '17, 12am

The U.S. should go Dutch to avoid building another Houston

Want to design a city to maximize flood damage? Start on very flat land — any kind of slope will help water flow out of town. Next you’d want to create incentives for people to build the city wide and low; by covering a large area with concrete and asphalt, you collect more water whenever it rains. Then, be sure not to build much in the way of a drainage system. Ideally you’d be close to a humid body of water. And if you really wanted to put a cherry on top, you’d devote the city to industry that contributes to the warming of the seas, thereby increasing the likelihood of extreme downpours. Voilà! You’ve just built Houston. While America’s fourth-largest city is a poster child for flood vulnerability, much of the United States is built on similar principles. When the Dutch, the experts in flood prevention , look at us, they try to be polite, but really there’s no way aroun...

Full article: http://grist.org/article/houston-was-built-to-flood-heres...

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