UNESCO/IHE - Guidelines for road development in flood plains

UNESCO/IHE - Guidelines for road development in flood plains

The economic development of river deltas requires good transport connectivity, and roads play an important role in this. However roads fragment the valuable floodplain systems and change their natural dynamics and ecology and at the same time are regularly damaged by floods resulting in costly repair works. To address these issues, improved coordination is needed between the agencies involved, as well as the introduction of adequate road planning and design options. Two basic options exist: more closed road design or more open road design, the latter aiming to maintain the natural floodplain dynamics as much as possible through culverts and bridges. Both options have different impacts on transport, ecology, agriculture, flood protection and finance.

The Roads and Floods project (UNESCO-IHE with Deltares and WWF) has developed a set of Innovative best practice guidelines for road planning and design in vulnerable floodplains based on an extensive study of the interactions between roads and floods in the Mekong delta. The study was commissioned by the Mekong River Commission, and guidelines have been adopted by its flood management programme and the Cambodian and Vietnamese National Mekong Committees.

Contact: Wim Douven (w.douven@unesco-ihe.org)

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