Image taken by Prof. Manuel Fernandes of flooding in Petropolis

Impact in Development

Large logo of the Universidade Federal do Rio de JaneiroSmall logo of the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro

Urban Resilience to Flooding

Flooding ruins lives, destroys livelihoods and property, and results in injury and death. Homes are inundated, with all the possessions, sustenance, and memories they contain destroyed and in ruins and the damage is often uninsurable. Disease often spreads in the damp conditions, accompanied by a plague of rats and many other undesirable infestations. Impact based on Research at the School of Architecture and the Built Environment (SoABE) is starting to result in material policy change in the following areas:

  • Countering Soil Erosion and Improving Management Practice Overseas – Governments are starting to change their policy and guidance on where and how it is permitted to build.
  • Improving Flood Management Practice Overseas – The Government of Brazil is revisiting its policy regarding riverine flows and drainage, enhancing resilience and recovery.
  • Improving Flood Management Practice at DEFRA/ Environment Agency – DEFRA is changing its policy on Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SuDS) and Community Disaster Resilience (CDR), with associated resourcing.
Image taken by Prof. Manuel Fernandes of flooding in Petropolis

Footage and Images of the Floods in Petrópolis

The footage and photos were taken by Professor Manoel Fernandes, Professor of Geography at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, our partner university for the work on Petrópolis.



Underpinning Excellent Research

The Impact taking place could not have been possible without the excellent research of SoABE Colleagues. The research below has underpinned and facilitated Impact taking place.


- Antonio S. da Silva, Antonio J. T. Guerra, Helena Polivanov, Michael A. Fullen – ‘Soil structural indicators of hillslope destabilization in the Serra do Mar mountain range (Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil)’, Natural Hazards, 81:1177–1191, 2016.

- Omolara O. Lade, Michael A. Fullen, David Oloke, Madhu Subedi and Colin A. Booth – ‘Urban Precipitation: Measurements, Monitoring and Processes’, Chapter 15 of Water Resources in the Built Environment: management issues and solutions, First Edition, Colin Booth and Susanne Charlesworth (Ed.s), John Wiley & Sons, 2014.

- Manoel do C. Fernandes, David Heesom, Michael A. Fullen, Fernando S. Antunes – ‘Flood dynamics: A geoecological approach using historical cartography and giscience in the city of Petrópolis (Brazil)’, European Journal of Geography, Volume 11, Issue 1, 2020.

- Manoel Fernandes, Antonio Guerra, Michael Fullen, David Heesom – ‘Floods in Petrópolis City, Brazil: A geoecological analysis’, Geography Review, February 2022.

- Oluwayemi Oladunjoy, David Proverbs, and Hong Xiao – ‘Retrofitting Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SuDS): A Cost-Benefit Analysis Appraisal’, Water, 14(16), 2022.

- Wenping Xu 1, Jinting Cong, David Proverbs, and Linlan Zhang – ‘An Evaluation of Urban Resilience to Flooding’, Water 2021, 13(15), 2022.

- Tariq H, Pathirage C, Fernando T. - ‘Measuring Community Disaster Resilience at local levels: An adaptable Resilience Framework’, International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 28 May 2021.


Our Partners' Research

- SANTOS, Kairo da Silva; ANTUNES, Fernando de Souza; FERNANDES, Manoel do Couto. THE RIVERS, THE CITY AND THE MAP AS OBJECT OF LANDSCAPE DYNAMICS ANALYSIS. Mercator, Fortaleza, v. 18, oct. 2019. ISSN 1984-2201. Available at:, doi:

- Manoel do Couto Fernandes – Petrópolis Story Map - (


Press Coverage

The following illustrate the dynamics and mechanisms of the flood and landslide.

The Le Monde material below was written following an interview with our research partner on Petrópolis, Professor Antonio Guerra, Professor of Geography at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.


- Independent footage - Flooding footage -  

- BBC - Petrópolis: A perfect storm of weather extremes and deep inequality -  

- Le Monde -

- Reuters -; and

- Photos from internet search engine -