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Flood resilience technology in Europe: Identifying barriers and co-producing best practice

White, I and Connelly, A and Garvin, S and Lawson, N and O'Hare, P (2016) Flood resilience technology in Europe: Identifying barriers and co-producing best practice. Journal of Flood Risk Management.

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Abstract

© 2016 The Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) and John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Flood resistance (FRe) and resilience technologies hold considerable potential to limit the damage caused by flooding. Resistance technologies generally aim to keep water out of buildings, while resilient measures may allow ingress but create the conditions for a quicker recovery of individuals, communities and buildings. However, despite their potential contribution to flood risk management (FRM), their use remains uncommon. This paper draws on pan-European research of local communities at risk and their representatives, and professional stakeholders working at a more strategic scale, to explore the barriers to use and describe the co-production of new best practice. It interrogates the issues in terms of level of awareness, degree of acceptance and the integration into decision making. We found that even where awareness was high, there was a reluctance to use these measures. This is due to issues related to comparability, costs, installation, performance and maintenance. The research also revealed that FRM policy and practice has struggled to incorporate this emergent approach and that many individuals at risk are reluctant to take responsibility and protect their properties in this way. In response, this paper details how good practice guidance - the 'Six Steps approach' - was co-produced with key stakeholders to facilitate the wider contribution of FRe to FRM.

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