Anna Serra-Llobet, Ph.D.
Practicing Policy Analyst & Associate
Center for Catastrophic Risk Management
University of California, Berkeley


During the second half of the 20th century, physical exposure to the risk of flooding has increased dramatically in the US and in the EU, mainly because of the occupation and transformation of flood-prone land. However, this trend has been attenuated by a greater social capacity to absorb losses and by the increased effectiveness of flood management measures. Unfortunately, technological improvements in hydraulic infrastructures have also fostered the notion that people can be completely safe from flood risks. This has resulted in some people abrogating responsibility for their individual actions or for taking steps to lessen residual risk, having catastrophic consequences such as Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in 2005 or Hurricane Xynthia in La Faute-sur-Mer, France, in 2010. Taking examples from the US and France, this presentation will open the debate on what is the right set of measures to manage flood risk and it will focus on the importance of land use management.


Dr. Serra-Llobet specializes in flood risk management policies. After receiving her PhD in Environmental Sciences from the Autonomous University of Barcelona (2011), she worked at the Water Unit of the Directorate General for the Environment at the European Commission(EU) in Brussels. Then as a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Urban & Regional Development, University of California Berkeley, she conducted comparative studies of flood management governance in the US and EU. In 2014 she was awarded a Prometeo visiting professorship to the University of Cuenca, Ecuador, where she taught and conducted research on the potential to implement green infrastructure for storm water management in Latin American. She is now a researcher at the Institute of International Studies, UC Berkeley working on research related to sustainable flood management strategies in the US and the EU, and a Research Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Studies, at Aix-Marseille University in France.

Meeting Recording (link coming soon)

Meeting Presentation (link coming soon)

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