Case

Helsinki City Flood Strategy

Ramboll

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Ramboll provided consulting services to the City of Helsinki for flood strategy work during 2008. The project was conducted by the Helsinki City Planning Department with intent to formulate a common flood strategy for all departments of the City of Helsinki, to avoid and minimize the damages caused by floods.

Ramboll interviewed representatives of all relevant departments of the City of Helsinki to compile the needs for development of flood damage prevention. Flood specialists from other interest groups, including the Finnish Environment Institute, the Finnish Marine Research, and the Finnish Meteorological Institute, were also interviewed to gather their knowledge of different types of flooding events for the needs of the City.

The need for a comprehensive flood strategy was demonstrated by the exceptional sea flood in the Gulf of Finland during January 2005. The sea flood prompted public discussions about effects of climate change in Helsinki. As a result, the City began several studies and planning schemes in order to prevent damages associated with future sea flooding events. All former studies and research reports about different types of flooding events that could strike Helsinki were examined within the strategy work, and a summary of abstracts of over 20 studies that concerned the city of Helsinki was attached to the strategy paper. The flood strategy paper was envisaged in the City as an umbrella paper for managing heavy rain flooding events, water system flooding events, and sea flooding events.

Several development tasks were listed and recommended in the action plan for the implementation of the flood strategy. The action plan included tasks ranging from building flood embankments to developing a flood information bank.  All tasks were entrusted to various departments of the City, and a preliminary schedule for all the tasks was prepared.

The flood strategy paper is being handled and developed further within the organisations of the City of Helsinki.

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