The impact of climate change, infrastructure projects and increased population means that 2 billion people around the world are expected to be vulnerable to flood disaster by 2050. While addressing the causes of flooding is essential, it is also imperative to improve flood resilience in the most affected areas, with people’s lives and livelihoods increasingly threatened by intense and unpredictable weather events.
Expo 2020 Dubai’s Global Best Practices Programme has highlighted the Buoyant Foundation Project for this very reason – as it offers real solutions to communities living in flood-prone areas of Vietnam. The Foundation has developed a system to retrofit existing stilt housing to provide additional protection from higher flood waters in the Mekong River delta. This system allows otherwise-ordinary structures to temporarily float in place when flooding occurs. The retrofit adds a buoyancy element to houses, serving as a pre-emptive ‘amphibious’ measure that builds on traditional flood defences and respects the region’s traditional culture and livelihoods.
The project has already retrofitted four houses in the region as prototypes and learning opportunities for the community. The non-profit research organisation aims now to implement training workshops in order to scale up its solution across the whole Mekong river delta, which is home to 17 million people. The overarching goal – supported by the Best Practice Programme – is to improve the resilience of threatened communities and therefore anticipate and prevent the short- and long-term damage and displacement caused by the growing challenge of flooding around the world.
The Expo 2020 Dubai Innovation Series is a weekly blog series highlighting some of the creative and world-changing innovations that are being showcased via Expo 2020 Dubai’s programmes and pavilions.
The Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) is the intergovernmental organisation in charge of overseeing and regulating World Expos, Specialised Expos, Horticultural Expos and the Triennale di Milano.