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La Niña has made a real impact in Australia over recent months with flooding across the eastern states. Residential properties and infrastructure has been significantly damage and thousands of residents displaced indefinitely.

As communities consider their next steps and move forward on their long recovery journey, there has been plenty of debate about whether allowing people to build back on flood plains is the right move. With the increasing flood risk and changing weather environment as a result of climate change, residents are now questioning what else can be done.

Flood resilient house
A flood resilient house in Queensland designed by JDO Co

Following the floods in the NSW Northern Rivers, 750 trucks of household rubbish were removed each day. Andrew and Josh speak with leading architect Dr James Davidson, to understand if there’s a way to rebuild rebuild differently to minimise the future impacts of floods. James is the Director of JDA Co, an architecture firm who design buildings to better withstand the impacts of natural hazards. James has a diverse range of architecture experience, including working overseas following major disasters and as a director of Emergency Architects Australia.

Following the 2011 Brisbane Floods, James has worked with Brisbane City Council to support the implementation of flood resilient building techniques.

In this episode, James shares what can be done to improve the flood resilience of houses on flood plains, the economics of implementing these changes, and how some of the properties JDA Co has worked on fared during the recent floods.

Dr James Davidson

James Davidson is the founder and Principal of JDA Co, a leading architecture and design practice for governments, councils and private enterprises adapting urban environments to withstand floods, cyclones, bushfires, storm surges and extreme heat. James is also a delivery partner of Brisbane Sustainability Agency for the roll out of the Flood Resilient Homes Program for the Brisbane City Council. James holds a Doctorate in Architecture, is a previous Director of Emergency Architects Australia and a Winston Churchill Fellow. He is also the author of Waterfutures: Integrated water and flood management strategies for enhancing liveability in Southeast Queensland.