First-of-its-kind Analysis Synthesizes Insurance Claims, Property Owner Reports, and Geography of Flooding in an Urban Environment
CHICAGO (May 14, 2013)—When it comes to flooding in cities, it makes little difference whether a property is located within a floodplain or not—damage happens, happens often, and can inflict significant costs. This stark lack of correlation between property damage claims and recognized floodplains is among the key findings of The Prevalence and Cost of Urban Flooding, a report released today by the Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT).
The report, the first of its kind to collectively analyze flood damage claims and sewer- and drain-backup claims data from multiple providers of insurance and other financial assistance, is part of a first phase of research at CNT on the prevalence and cost of flooding to property owners—such as homes and businesses—in urban and suburban areas. Urban flooding is caused by too much rain overwhelming drainage systems and waterways, and making its way into basements, backyards, and streets.
CNT researchers took the unprecedented step of combining insurance claims payout data for property damage in Cook County, IL (between 2007–2011, aggregated by ZIP code), with analysis of 115 responses to an online survey of property owners in Cook County that experienced property flooding in the last five years.
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Tuesday, April 30th, 2013 at 5:51 pm
Laying the foundations for long-term, sustainable economic development will require adopting innovative policy solutions to overcome obstacles to growth. Unfortunately, implementing new policy is often politically unpopular, especially when the change involves levying a new charge or increasing taxes to fund investment or influence behavior.
A case in point was illustrated in a presentation given by Dr. Jonas Eliasson of Stockholm’s Royal Institute of Technology at a recent Earth Day event in Chicago. Like most major metropolitan areas, the Swedish capital had long suffered from acute traffic congestion and all of the economic and environmental problems associated with it. Beginning in the early 1990’s, academics and policy experts had discussed the potential solution offered by “congestion pricing,” whereby drivers pay a fee for use of the city’s roads, the level of which depends upon the time of day and the “zone” of the city in which the driver is traveling.
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Monday, May 20th, 2013 at 1:26 pm
The Illinois General Assembly passed two bills last week designed to increase the use of green infrastructure in stormwater management practices, which will provide multiple benefits to Illinois communities as we continue to experience heavy rainstorms.
Green infrastructure helps to reduce flooding by increasing the natural absorption of stormwater into the ground and uptake by plants. In addition, green infrastructure practices and projects can capture water for use in irrigation, reduce water pollution in our lakes and streams, save energy and money in our stormwater management systems, improve air quality, and increase land values by beautifying our communities.
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Wednesday, March 27th, 2013 at 2:39 pm
In a recent post, we highlighted a report that shows how energy efficiency upgrades in multifamily buildings could save building owners and residents up to $3.4 billion annually. Despite this, the multifamily building sector represents a mostly untapped opportunity for energy efficiency gains amongst traditional utility-run programs.
One reason for this is because the multifamily market has unique challenges that must be addressed in order to deliver effective programs. The good news is, we have a roadmap and there are partners along the way to help utilities capitalize on the enormous opportunity for energy savings that exists in the multifamily housing sector.
A new report we released along with the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), Engaging as Partners: Introducing Utilities to the Energy Efficiency Needs of Multifamily Buildings and Their Owners, examines the factors that contribute to effective energy efficiency program design for multifamily buildings and recommends strategies that can help utilities design and implement energy efficiency programs. Read more »