Achieving the Sustainable Development Goal 11: Flood Mitigation and Adaption Strategies in Iowa Cities
Presenter: Esther Tetteh, graduate student, community and regional planning
Advisor: Biswa Das, associate professor, community and regional planning
The United Nations created the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015 to address urban development issues in all countries. Goal 11 of the SDGs focuses on making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable. In coping with the aftermath of the devastating 2008 floods, cities in Iowa have developed several tools to analyze flood risk and apply various indicators to guide the planning process, an effort to achieve sustainability.
Within the scope of this study, three cities — Iowa City, Cedar Rapids and Des Moines — were assessed using interviews and GIS-MCDA to examine how flood mitigation policies align with SDG 11 and the populations at risk. The results show that SDG 11 is explicitly referenced in flood risk strategies and planning documents; however, the policies focus on sustainability. Also, there is a correlation between areas of highest flood risk and non-white populations, poverty, and bachelor’s degree attainment.