flood resilience

CEP at the XV International Congress of Environmental Psychology 2019


Dr Clare Twigger-Ross is giving a keynote talk on Tuesday 16th July at the XV Congreso de Psicologia Ambiental-PSCIAMB: Community, resources and sustainability: the challenge of territories. She will be presenting her paper Building resilience capacities of communities to flood risk: reflections on theory and practice in the UK. The paper draws on research that CEP and associates have carried out for Defra and the Environment Agency over the past decade.  

The conference is being held at the University of la Laguna, Tenerife from 16th – 19th July 2019.

For more information please contact Dr Clare Twigger-Ross (Technical Director).

Building resilience capacities of communities to flood risk: reflections on theory and practice in the UK


Climate change will increase the frequency, severity and extent of flooding in the UK with the present 1.8 million people living in areas at significant flood risk predicted to rise to 2.6 million under a 2° scenario and to 3.3 million under a 4° scenario (CCRA, 2017)The health and social impacts of floods have been documented over a number of years (e.g. Walker et al, 2005; Tapsell and Tunstall, 2008) with recent robust studies on the effects on mental health (e.g. Public Health England, 2017;Miljevic et al, 2017) showing the impact to be quite considerable.   Given these negative social impacts it becomes even more important to understand how communities and individuals alongside local professionals (e.g. local authorities, emergency services) might be able to improve or develop greater community resilience. Dr Twigger-Ross together with her colleagues at Collingwood Environmental Planning has been working on projects for the UK government and its agencies since 2005 on aspects of flooding and this paper draws on that work within the framework of community resilience.   Community resilience is a way of thinking about resilience to flooding at a local and place based level, understanding that there will be multiple communities and social networks intersecting in a given flood risk area.  In this paper Cutter et al’s (2010) disaster resilience of place is drawn on to locate  community resilience which is defined as a “set of capacities that can be fostered through interventions and policies, which in turn help  build and enhance a community’s ability to respond, recover  from [and adapt] to disasters”(Cutter et al, 2010).   The capacities examined by Twigger-Ross et al, (2015) are institutional resilience capacities, social resilience capacities, community capital, infrastructure resilience capacities and economic resilience capacities and they will be elaborated on within this paper.  Importantly, in order to meet the challenges of climate change the type of resilience will need to focus on the proactive/transformative type of resilience rather than the reactive/defensive type of resilience.   A number of active interventions have been developed in the UK by to improve levels of resilience capacity, through government and charity funding, together with grassroots interventions emergent after a flood and the factors for their success or otherwise will be discussed in relation to the community resilience framework. Further, it is recognised that the concept of resilience is both complex and contested, not just the opposite of vulnerability and the paper will comment on that, specifically in the context of its use by UK government and its agencies.  Finally, the role and impact of “contract” research and the position of researchers within that will be examined through the paper.

CEP at Flood & Coast 2019 conference

Dr Clare Twigger-Ross (CEP) a panel member at the 2019 Flood and Coast conference.

Dr Clare Twigger-Ross will be presenting, on 18 June 2019, a short paper on community resilience to flooding at the 2019 Conference panel session Climate change - how do we overcome the physical, political & societal barriers to meet the challenge.  The other members of the panel are:  


Convened by the Environment Agency, the Flood & Coast conference 2019 is a unique event that advances the debate about flood and coast erosion risk, resilience and response between government bodies and local authorities with business, major infrastructure and asset managers, as well as affected communities. 

For more information please contact Dr Clare Twigger-Ross (Technical Director).

European Commission publishes report on implementation of WFD and the Floods Directive

European Commission publishes new report on the implementation of the Water Framework Directive (WFD) and Floods Directive, which includes research input from CEP.

The overall assessment was led by WRc and CEP were part of the team assessing the first round of implementation of the Floods Directive (FD), coordinated by Milieu. The full report was published by the Commission last week.

The report provides an overview of the first Flood Risk Management Plans (FRMPs) produced by EU Member States and reported to the European Commission under the FD. The report focuses on progress so far and is accompanied by a series of Commission Staff Working Documents with both EU overviews and individual Member State assessments.

The FD, introduced in 2007 in response to the large floods across Europe in 2002 sets a framework for reducing risk of flood damage. The growing uncertainties surrounding flood risk management require continuous monitoring and adjustment of practices to ensure the lowest possible damages.

For more information please contact Paula Orr (Technical Director).

New report by CEP on community resilience


CEP‘s evaluation of Phase 1 of the Communities Prepared project has recently been published by Groundwork South.  Funded by the Big Lottery Reaching Communities Fund to support community resilience across the country, the project aims to help community groups to be better able to respond to, and recover from, flooding and other emergencies.  The pilot phase ran from February 2016 to February 2018 and was implemented by Groundwork South in partnership with Cornwall Community Flood Forum and Cornwall College and supported by national organisations like the Environment Agency.  

The aim of the pilot phase was to test the Community Resilience Toolkit prepared by Cornwall Community Flood Forum following the floods in Cornwall in 2010. CEP was commissioned to design and carry out a process and impact evaluation of the pilot across its two-year lifetime, drawing on information gathered from communities and stakeholders to provide learning which can be used in the Phase 2 application.

The evaluation report can be found at: Communities Prepared Pilot Evaluation

For more information contact Paula Orr (Technical Director)

CEP presenting CECAN fellowship work

CEP presenting work on Flood Community Resilience Pathfinder evaluation at Defra Theme Advisory Groups meeting

Dr Clare Twigger-Ross will be giving a brief presentation on her CECAN fellowship work looking at Qualitative Comparative Analysis in relation to the Flood Community Resilience Pathfinder evaluation at the Defra/Environment Agency R&D Theme Advisory Groups meeting in Birmingham on 26th April.

CEP investigates the process of resilient repair after flooding

CEP part of a team examining the facilitators and barriers to resilient repair measures for properties following flood events

CEP are part of a team led by University of West England, with Kingston University and Cunningham Lindsey on examining the uptake of resilient repair following flood events in the UK, for Defra. The aim of the project is to investigate the barriers for households and businesses in installing resilient repair measures, and to examine how the government could encourage greater uptake of such measures. A key part of the project will be collecting data from both residents and professionals on the barriers and facilitators to installing resilient repair. After a flood event, resilient repair is a category of flood resilience measures that can be carried out during reinstatement to prevent future physical damage to a property.

CEP will assist in the  development of a quick scoping review on what is already known about the facilitators and barriers to resilient repair. CEP will also assist in conducting workshops with experts and key stakeholders, to further examine what consensus there is on how best practice resilient repair can be achieved.

The project will run from November 2017 to July 2018. For more information on the project, please contact Dr Clare Twigger-Ross or Izzy Cotton.