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Write on METRO

Nov 20
Think Big to Fight Flooding



METRO board member Christof Spieler, a transit advocate whose wedding day celebration included a post-nuptial ride on METRORail, is an urban planner who is also project manager for the Greater Houston Flood Mitigation Consortium, a group of leading researchers dedicated to analyzing data on flooding risk and mitigation.

He recently wrote in the Houston Chronicle that to fight flooding in Houston, we need to think big.

"Harvey is a wake-up call that we have a lot of work to do. Our region must grow smarter," wrote Spieler. "This will require good research and data, and full consideration of all the impacts of flooding, not just in value of property, but the impact on human lives."

The consortium found many merits in Judge Ed Emmett's 15 recommendations to mitigate damages from future flooding. Emmett, Harris County's CEO, is also the director of Emergency Management in Harris County.

The consortium analyzed the six themes of Emmett's proposals.

 In the area of structural projects, Spieler wrote that both decision-makers and the public need to have access to data on how proposed projects would benefit flood reduction – as well as how many houses and businesses would be less likely to flood.

On green infrastructure: Emmett's vision to design a third reservoir in northwest Harris County as part of a state or national park centered around the Katy Prairie must include details and solid research to not destroy the natural ecosystems on the prairie.

Click here to read more of the consortium's analysis of Emmett's 15 recommendations.



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