Abstract Climate change and natural disasters have made it essential for governments to develop system resiliency at the city, state, and national levels. This paper examines flood resilience institutions, strategies, and outcomes in selected cities – New York (U.S.), Tokyo (Japan), and Rotterdam (Netherlands), and their impacts on the transportation expressway system. Transportation systems play a key role in the event of a disaster. Hence adequate transportation system resilience to floods is critical to ensure high-performing cities in the long term. We review the laws and policies pertaining to flood resilience in each city and conduct floodplain analysis of critical transportation networks using geographic information systems to understand the relative susceptibility of expressway networks to flooding. The findings highlight differences in approaches to developing system resilience in different cities, related to geographic, cultural, and institutional factors, and linked with transportation network performance in flood events. The study is potentially useful for transportation engineers, urban planners, and policymakers, offering insights and examples for building institutional and technical capital for flood resilience. It highlights associations between political/cultural institutions and built system resilience and emphasizes the importance of holistic, long-term, and adaptive thinking in system resilience development.

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