Flood resilience for disadvantaged areas
The Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) have recently appointed Sayers and Partners to identify those communities that may be most vulnerable to flooding in the UK now and in the future, taking account of both climate and demographic change. The study will use national analysis and local assessment to provide a real step change in our understanding of flood disadvantaged areas; where they are, what makes them particularly vulnerable and how their resilience might change in the future given alternative policy options.
The specific objectives of the project are to:
Identify the types and locations of communities which are at most significant flood risk: The UK Future Flood Explorer (developed by SPL and used in support of the recently published the Climate Change Risk Assessment, CCRA) will be used explore future risk patterns for the whole of UK and for all sources (fluvial, coastal, surface water and groundwater) under a range of climate change projections and adaptation scenarios (relevant to vulnerable communities).
Assess and validate the characteristics of those communities: By linking the FFE to Climate Just approaches (developed previously by the JRF) we will be better placed to explore the complex nature of flood disadvantage. A series of local community empirical studies and interviews will be used to validate and refine this understanding.
Examine existing and planned national flood risk management investment in those areas: By comparing the national investment patterns and the locally developed Plans and initiatives for the selected communities across the UK we will explore the types of vulnerable area that are likely to attract investment, and those which are not.
Examine local responses: Building upon the recent JRF Evidence Review and the Flood Forum Pathfinder projects (where local populations are particularly active in engaging and taking action to improve resilience) we will use evidence from the selected case studies to explore the existing and likely response to the risk that they face. This will be through a combination of local interviews with key stakeholders and an analysis of Plans and on-the-ground responses. This understanding will then be used to refine the adaptations scenarios used in the FFE to establish a credible understanding of how national policies may affect different types of vulnerable communities.
Identify possible options: Through a review of the likely scale of funding that may be available in areas of social vulnerability we will be able to identify the type of options that are likely to be accessible. This will enable us to identify where potential for risk reduction, deprivation and vulnerability coincide and highlight potential inadequacies in current policy.
Make recommendations for policy or practice: We will develop a new typology of disadvantage and summaries the national risks in the context of this typology and how this might change in the future under climate change if current adaptation policies continue. This will provide for the first time a quantified understanding of ‘scale of issue’ and the spatial ‘hot spots’ of disadvantage. We will use this understanding to explore options for changing the policy approaches to encourage action to be taken in these areas.
The study is lead by Sayers and Partners. The project team includes Paul Sayers, Dr Matt Horritt, Prof. Edmund Penning-Rowsell and Jessie Fieth. The JRF team is lead by Katharine Knox
The study is ongoing - for further information contact Paul Sayers (email@example.com) or Katharine Knox (Katharine.Knox@jrf.org.uk).
Initial analysis of flood risk in deprived areas using the Future Flood Explorer