Transportation & Vehicle Safety Policy

Planning for Floods at the University of Iowa: A Challenge for Resilience and Sustainability

Connerly, C.; Laurian, L.; Throgmorton, J.


Why does a large institution build in a flood-prone area and how does it respond when flooding
causes great damage? This is a case study of a major flood event—the 2008 Iowa–Cedar River
flood—and the University of Iowa, whose recovery is expected to cost about US$750 million. The
case explores the factors that led a major institution to invest so much of its infrastructure into a
flood-prone river shed and then describes and evaluates the decision-making process the University
has undertaken with the goal of becoming a more sustainable and resilient campus.