Living with flood risk
Debate after a major flood centres on immediate recovery.
It also raises fundamental questions on how communities should prepare for increased flood risk and how they might transform to cope with the battle against flooding.
In this issue of Planning Theory and Practice, our Interface section explores a shift from a ‘keep flood water out’ approach towards a long-term strategy of mitigating flood risk and increasing the resilience of our communities to flooding. Rather than simply ensuring ‘community bounce back’ in the aftermath of flooding, this Interface shows us the importance of transforming the built environment in the face of uncertain risk.
Drawing on case studies in the UK, Ireland, Australia and Bangladesh, this Interface examines a range of policy and urban design responses to flood risk. These include the importance of retrofitting the built environment to better cope with flood risk, housing allocations that recognize the constraints imposed by floodplains, planning for a more hydrologically-sensitive urban environment, and urban realignment schemes that provide space for natural flooding processes.
Just as important as these physical and design-led approaches, the authors also emphasise the central role of integrated policy responses, social learning and capacity building to effectively involve those people at risk - who are being gradually transformed into active risk managers.
“Although a series of flood disasters provide useful learning experiences, it is not sustainable to continually suffer detriment before action occurs.” Planning Theory and Practice, Mark Scott et al, published by Taylor & Francis.
For both planning practitioners and researchers, the Interface ‘Living With Flood Risk’ offers evidence from existing cases as well as critical commentary and synthesis on how communities should prepare and transform in the face of flood risk.
* Read the full article online: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14649357.2012.761904
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