Design for Urban Flood Management
In the wake of climate change, urban flood management should be an integral part of urban planning. The cities of Dordrecht, Hamburg and London cooperate in this international umbrella research project to develop sound urban flood management (UFM) strategies for 3 pilot areas. B&W was involved with the UFM project from its conception, working together with Dutch construction company Dura Vermeer to support the city of Dordrecht to create the collaboration. Subsequently B&W defined, set-up & managed the Dutch project to feed into related urban development projects and policy programmes. The result is a lighthouse project that has received extensive international attention.
Creating safe and attractive living environments
Due to climate change and rapid urbanisation, the UFM partner cities are becoming increasingly vulnerable for flood risk. Meanwhile they are planning major (re) development projects. To create a safe and attractive living environment an integrated approach is needed. However, its implementation is hampered by e.g: a lack of understanding of (residual) flood risks and their implications; lack of long-term and integrated planning; and inadequate steering of local authorities and the conservative nature of the building sector. For these reasons, the UFM project aimed to address topics such as flood risk & vulnerability assessment, planning procedures, resilient planning and building measures, governance (liabilities, responsibilities), communication and emergency response.
Bridging the gap between stakeholders
Probably, B&W biggest challenge was to enable, facilitate and foster collaboration between the different disciplines and organisations: private and public, of different levels of governance. Senior governors and the Living with Water programme now recognize the UFM project as an example of how these stakeholders have learned to speak each other’s languages
An internationally recognized approach
The UFM project has received renowned international media coverage and UFM Continuously receives significant professional and scientific interest. As a collateral result, the partners are put in a positive light. Dordrecht and the local partners have invited B&W to set up a follow-up project to further develop the state of the art. B&W has also supported the creation of various spin-off projects to feed into policy programmes and to support the application of UFM results in various innovative development projects.