Planning in Complexity: City to Host Community Conversations on Flood Mitigation and Resiliency

The City of Fredericton will host two community conversations dedicated to its planning efforts relating to flood mitigation and resiliency. These sessions will provide a forum for residents, business owners who have been affected by flooding and community groups with an interest in the topic to share their own flood related experiences and mitigation ideas with senior staff at two separate meetings later this summer.

“In the past 11 years, Fredericton has experienced three major floods,” said Mayor Mike O’Brien. “The frequency and severity of flooding in the Lower Saint John River Valley is expected to continually increase over time”, he continued. “It’s our job now to continue to build on the work the City of Fredericton has already done and make the city even more resilient in the face of flooding. Our goal with these community conversations is to listen to our residents, and use their experiences to help guide our efforts through a planning process that will mitigate the impacts on our community as a whole.”

The first meeting will be held Tuesday, July 30 at the Fredericton Convention Centre (670 Queen Street) from 2pm to 7pm. The second meeting will be held on Thursday, August 15 at the Ramada Inn (480 Riverside Drive, Lower St. Mary’s) from 5pm to 9pm.

Residents and business owners who have been affected by flooding and community groups with an interest in the topic are invited to share their experiences and ideas with a panel of senior staff and subject matter experts. Information for residents wishing to present at one of the sessions is available on the City’s website at www.fredericton.ca/floodresiliency. Residents are asked to complete a short online webform and share a brief description of their planned presentation.

Over the past 20 years, the City of Fredericton has undertaken a number of measures to make the city more resilient in the face of flooding. Development standards and zoning rules adopted require new buildings and roads to be at least 9 meters above river level, new duckbill valves have been installed in key low-lying areas, the size of major culverts and stormwater pipes have increased in order to accommodate flooding, and many major sections of vulnerable roadways have already been raised to keep important transportation links open during flooding.

It’s through this ongoing research, planning, and work that the City has identified the four major risk areas that continue to create many of the impacts associated with flooding.  They include:

  • Municipal Infrastructure – the provision of municipal services through the protection of infrastructure to a river elevation of 9.0 meters. The continued operation of major buildings and services around the city is key to maintaining mobility for residents, emergency service providers and helping businesses remain open and able to serve the public.
  • Key Transporation Infrastructure - keeping major roads and streets passable during flooding, especially prolonged flooding events. Unrestricted access to arterial roadways maintains mobility for residents, emergency service providers, and ensures business continuity around the city.
  • Property Flood Risk Mitigation - solutions tailored to specific neighbourhoods that would improve the flood resiliency of high risk, flood prone areas around the city.
  • Local Watershed Resilience - that would improve and update stormwater systems pressured and impacted during extreme weather events, causing damage to homes and disruptions to municipal infrastructure and services.

The upcoming community conversations intend to focus on improvements and flood-resiliency planning related to the four critical priorities above.

For more information visit the City’s website at www.fredericton.ca/floodresiliency or contact Service Fredericton at 506-460-2020 or environmental.leadership@fredericton.ca.