Speaker: Faith Chan (University of Nottingham, Ningbo, China)
Date: 24 Jan 2019
Time: 1230-1330
Room: 01 West 060

Title: Discovering flood risk management strategies in Chinese coastal cities – the cases of Ningbo, Hong Kong and other cities

Coastal cities in East Asia have emerged rapidly over recent decades, transformed from a primarily agricultural to a manufacturing and processing economy. These cities have created economic miracles because of some obvious incentives: globalisation, and the geographic favourite concentration of foreign investments (e.g. open-door policy & special-economic zones in China). Contrariwise, some cities are recently under severe stresses from urbanization, massive population growth and often without strategic planning of coastal landuse areas. This has led to extensive coastal land reclamation and installation of essential developments in coastal flood-prone areas. Disastrous coastal floods were occurred from typhoon enhanced storm surges in Ningbo during October 2013, and Hong Kong during September of 2008 and 2009, caused some significant socio-economic impacts and concerns to both cities. With respect of future climatic uncertainties, projected global sea-level rise and increasing recurrent storms and uprising urbanization rate are accordingly posing some foreseeable threats for these coastal mega-cities in East Asia. However, present patterns of coastal development are over-focused on socio-economic perspective, mostly overlooked flood risk and climate change adaptations, and simply not sustainable in long runs. Through the study of these cases, many of them have paid good efforts on improving the flood risk management practice in recent years, such as Five Water Management and Sponge City strategies in Ningbo and Drainage Master Plan in Hong Kong.
On the other hand, it has found that current flood risk management and climate change adaptation policies are surprisingly not too integrated in these cities. It calls for some opportunities to re-think current flood management and climate change adaptations strategies, with better public participation, education, raising awareness, openness/accessibility of flood information, increasing flood risk recognitions/perceptions and integrated with landuse planning are necessarily being the first steps to progress. Similarly, these findings may be benefited to other Chinese and E Asian coastal cities.

Dr Faith Ka Shun Chan is an Assistant Professor at University of Nottingham, Ningbo campus, China. He has also been affiliated as a visiting research fellow with Water@Leeds Research Institute, at University of Leeds. He currently conducts research on international water management practices, with a particularly focus on flood risk management and climate risk mitigation in East Asian Deltas and coastal cities. He has previously chaired the postgraduate forum at the Water@Leeds Water Research institute in University of Leeds. He has a strong research and teaching interests on inter-disciplinary aspects on environmental management across physical and human geography, in particular on issues related to sustainable water resources management, development and governance. He has currently worked with the Blue-Green Cities and Resilient Cities research consortium led by University of Nottingham and a couple of international collaborative projects on sustainable flood risk management in the urban cities, flood insurance, flood risk mitigation and commercial properties that are funded by the UK Research councils and organisations in the UK (e.g. ESPRC and RICS). Recently he has awarded the Chinese national research council grant (NSFC) on a two-year project on the impacts to urban catchments by microplastics pollutants in Ningbo as a principal investigator. He has also involved with some local research projects with the Ningbo municipal government on climate risk and water resources management (e.g. Typhoon and flood risk in Ningbo and Sponge City pilot study).
His research foci will continue on improving urban climate resilience and climate security, sustainable flood risk and water resources management and relevant governance perspectives in the E-Asian region.

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