The rising costs of floods - Examining the impact of planning and development decisions on property damage in Florida Academic Article uri icon


  • The rising economic cost of floods in the United States cannot be explained solely by monetary inflation or growth in coastal populations. Damaging flood events are also influenced by the way society plans for and physically develops its communities, influencing where structures and impervious surfaces are concentrated and how hydrological systems are altered. We analyze 383 nonhurricane flood events in Florida counties between 1997 and 2001 to isolate how planning decisions and their effects on the built environment affect property damage caused by floods. Our results suggest that alteration of naturally occurring wetlands significantly increases the property damage caused by floods, all else equal. Also, nonstructural methods such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Community Rating System, while providing inexpensive means of reducing property damage directly, may also indirectly encourage more development in hazardous areas. American Planning Association, Chicago, IL.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 17.856

author list (cited authors)

  • Brody, S. D., Zahran, S., Maghelal, P., Grover, H., & Highfield, W. E.

citation count

  • 148

complete list of authors

  • Brody, Samuel D||Zahran, Sammy||Maghelal, Praveen||Grover, Himanshu||Highfield, Wesley E

publication date

  • September 2007