FloodProbe: Technologies for the cost-effective flood protection of the built environment

Storms and floods as natural hazards are recognized as a major source of direct and indirect flood damages in Europe and world-wide. They pose the largest threat to people and the built environment. Expectations are that the annual costs of fluvial flooding can rise to €97.9 bn if no action is taken.

The aim of the project FloodProbe, coordinated by Deltares, was to provide insights on cost-effective means for flood protection and damage mitigation in urban areas. FloodProbe aimed at developing, testing and disseminating technologies and tools for flood risk assessment and mitigation. The focus was on infrastructure networks and the adaptation of (new) buildings.


The vulnerability of critical infrastructure and high-density value assets

The main objective was to enhance identification and assessment of the most vulnerable urban infrastructure in case of flooding, for improved asset management. The results were aimed at enabling the development of flood- proofing concepts and technologies for increasing building flood resilience. This is relevant for critical buildings such as hospitals, fire stations, water supply and treatment works, and energy generating stations. Furthermore existing damage models were refined by research on the expected repair of damaged assets, particularly buildings with public, commercial and industrial use with high concentration of persons and values.

The reliability of urban flood defense

Urban flood defences comprise both soft soil embankments and hard structures. Failures are very often caused by internal and/or external erosion processes, particularly at transitions between defence types. A description of physical processes of erosion was made and a framework was developed linking erodibility to identification parameters of soils and in-situ defence types. For structure transitions a typology was developed including a review of major flood events where defence failure in relation to structure transition occurred.

Construction technologies and concepts for flood defences and flood resilience

This work focused on improving the flood defence performance of critical infrastructure and high value assets and the improvement of existing and new urban flood defences.


A FloodProBE overall guidance provides end users with an overview and a first insight into the products, methods and knowledge developed within the context of the FloodProBE project. It is can especially by used by public authorities responsible for flood protection and water management as well as other asset managers and practitioners.

Policy brief

The project also resulted in a policy brief focusing specifically on the required actions and knowledge gaps which need to be addressed, as well as providing suggestions on how to approach them.

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