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Research Article

Academia Journal of Scientific Research 7(7): 367-380, July 2019
DOI: 10.15413/ajsr.2019.0708
ISSN: 2315-7712
2019 Academia Publishing 

Abstract

 

 

From disaster to sustainability: breaking the cycle of floods in Houston, Texas
 

 

Accepted 25th May, 2019

 
Ana Hampshire1* and James L. Sipes2

1Geodesign Graduate Program, Penn State University, University Park, PA 16802, US.
2Penn State World Campus, 100 Innovation Blvd, University Park, PA 16802, US.

 

 

The consequences of growing urbanization can be perceived in multiple levels around the globe: overpopulated living conditions, water and air pollution, loss of open space, costly transportation infrastructure, food shortages, fires and floods. The Houston metropolitan area is an example of fast urban growth, with a population increase of more than sixteen percent in seven years, going from 5.8 million people in 2010 to 6.9 million in 2017. By 2045, the robust growth of the region is projected to lead to the addition of approximately five hundred square miles of developed area, including an estimated six million parking spaces, seven hundred eighty million square feet of non-residential uses, and three and a half billion square feet of residential use. The accelerated development, in addition to physical features, geomorphic processes and human activities in the region are believed to have caused Houston to suffer through over fifty devastating floods since its settlement, despite some successful flood damage reduction projects. The present study focused on the potential outcomes of an increased use of green infrastructure in comparable urban areas, and its effects on flooding volume. The results from the research showed that not only these measures would likely improve the performance of existing urban drainage systems and attenuate flood incidence in the area, but would also promote connectivity between areas otherwise detached or only accessible by car, improving walkability and incentivizing engagement in outdoor activities.

Key words: Geodesign, urban growth, development, land use/land cover, green infrastructure, drainage, stormwater, runoff, underground storage.

 

This is an open access article published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Cite this article as:
Hampshire A, Sipes JL (2019). From disaster to sustainability: breaking the cycle of floods in Houston, Texas. Acad. J. Sci. Res. 7(7): 367-380.

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