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Introduction: Governing Flooding in Asia's Urban Transition

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The twenty-first century not only marks the advent of Asia's first urban era in which more than half of its population lives in cities; it is also the emergence of an age of increasing frequency and intensity of environmental disasters. Urban flooding leads disaster trends and is directly impacting the lives and livelihoods of a growing share of Asia's population. By 2010 more than 1.5 billion people were residing in urban areas in Asia, accounting for over half of the global urban population. The pervasive coastal and riparian orientation of Asia's rapid urban transition is placing greater numbers of people in locations that are highly exposed to floods, cyclones, tropical storms, and tsunamis. Human transformations of the natural and built environment of cities substantially add to global climate change as interactive sources of the heightening occurrence of floods. Moreover, floods contribute to compound disasters that generate cascading effects with multiple sources, interactive impacts, and long-term social and economic recovery issues. The pervasive and socially uneven impacts of floods bring acute awareness of flooding as a political issue for participatory governance. In light of these interwoven complexities, responses can no longer be carried out as sector management tasks, but must instead adopt multi-sector, multi-disciplinary, and multi-stakeholder approaches to disaster governance to directly link knowledge to action in preparing for, responding to, and recovering from floods in urbanizing Asia.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 September 2015

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