UCL News


UCL in the News: Climate change imperils City

2 May 2008

Daniel Thomas, 'The Financial Times' London and the Thames Gateway are at particular risk of flooding caused by climate change, a report says on Friday, pointing to the scale of housing development planned in the region and danger to the capital's financial district.

The analysis, by researchers at UCL, assesses the vulnerability of 14 strategic UK cities and towns. …

Southampton is identified as the UK's most vulnerable location, while London and the Thames Gateway areas are seen as particularly at risk of flooding. …

The UCL report highlights the unforeseen problems facing city centres, where it says there is a lack of "coping strategies".

"There are a number of major office developments in harbourside and riverside locations - such as Cardiff - which may find themselves at risk over the longer term," it says. "This is a particular concern in London, where the cost implications of major flooding due to the overtopping of the Thames Barrier would be considerable." …

Flooding is expected to affect all sectors of UK property.

"Flooding is the key right now," said Yvonne Rydin, professor of planning, environment and public policy at the UCL Bartlett School of Planning. "There needs to be more work done on urban drainage and the permeability of urban areas."

Prof Rydin pointed to greater risks among older and lower-quality properties. "Secondary and tertiary properties are not well equipped to deal with these changes," she said. …