Sustainable flood memories and the development of community resilience to future flood risk: a comparative study of three recently flooded communities

Lead Research Organisation: University of Gloucestershire
Department Name: Countryside and Community Research Inst

Abstract

Abstracts are not currently available in GtR for all funded research. This is normally because the abstract was not required at the time of proposal submission, but may be because it included sensitive information such as personal details.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Title Flood Memory App 
Description During DRY project, used catchment evidence to further develop a Flood Memory App in the Severn Catchment 
Type Of Art Artefact (including digital) 
Year Produced 2018 
Impact Continued beta testing of app with flood and drought prone communities for evidencing as an impact case study for REF 
URL https://flappy.warwick.ac.uk
 
Title Too Much of Water 
Description Too Much of Water is a one-man performance written and performed by Professor Steve Bottoms (Manchester University). It uses data gathered from interviews with flood victims, and other sources to recount the River Aire - Leeds floods on Boxing Day 2015. It creates a narrative around the experiences of 5 residents, before during and after the flood. It is performed live using a simple set and props. It has been performed at a number of settings including the Saltaire River Festival 2016. It has also been filmed in Bath Spa University TV studios and will be released in 2017 
Type Of Art Performance (Music, Dance, Drama, etc) 
Year Produced 2016 
Impact Agencies with reposibility for flood resillience (Environment Agency) are are aware of this output and have supported its producted and requested to view it 
 
Title Too Much of Water - Film 
Description This is a film version of the one man play Too Much of Water created in Bath Spa University TV studios and will be released in 2017. Too Much of Water is a one-man performance written and performed by Professor Steve Bottoms (Manchester University). It uses data gathered from interviews with flood victims, and other sources to recount the River Aire - Leeds floods on Boxing Day 2015. It creates a narrative around the experiences of 5 residents, before during and after the flood. It is performed live using a simple set and props. It has been performed at a number of settings including the Saltaire River Festival 2016. 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2017 
Impact TBC 
 
Description The project researched the relationships between flood memory, lay knowledge and resilience in floodplain settings after the 2007 floods. I have already submitted a key findings report to ES/1003576/2 which is the same project before it moved HEI with the PI. We continue to write up the research with further published outputs for academic and practitioner audiences.
Exploitation Route See ES/1003576/2 (same project)
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Environment,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections,Other

 
Description 1. Impact strategy Our impact strategy comprises: • Scientific advancement of knowledge: to provide new insights into community resilience to flooding and how community resilience might be developed by communities themselves and by supporting agencies in flood risk management (FRM). • Development of skills and capabilities in organisations and communities: to develop skills in how to develop, sustain and work with community memory and lay knowledge through the framing of 'sustainable flood memory'. • Impact on health, wealth and culture: to benefit the local communities in our four case-study areas and other communities at risk of flooding by offering ways to exchange and archive lay/local knowledge that encourage preparedness and action for future flooding and flood risk. • Economic development: to offer practical outcomes that can contribute to increased community preparedness for flood risk. 2. Emerging economic and societal impact The key societal impacts of our research have included increasing and increased awareness of the relationships between memory, lay knowledge and resilience amongst UK and international flood risk management professionals, and the public themselves in community settings. This has started to generate impact at national and regional levels as set out below, and we continue to work with agencies and communities in increasing this impact. This work is on-going through the nested ESRC Knowledge Exchange award where we are working with flood risk communities, national and regional Environment Agency partners, the regional County Rural Community Council and Local Government to generate digital stories based upon our research. This involves collaboratively drawing themes on 'preparedness' from our original semi-structured interviews, as viewed through different resilience lenses. This provides opportunities for communities themselves and partner agencies to facilitate exchanges within and between communities about preparedness and resilience in relation to flood risk. 3. Impact settings The project methodology was crafted to maximise stakeholder engagement and impact throughout the project in varied ways. We have had impact insofar as we have communities and agencies engaging with, and in several cases acting on, our messages - through our Stakeholder Competency Group (SCG), end of project conference and other engagement activities. • Stakeholder Competency Group: Our methodology integrated co-production throughout the project with a Stakeholder Competency Group of ca. 10 key stakeholders from communities (representatives including local councillor (member), flood action group representative), local government, the Environment Agency, National Flood Forum (including Scottish Flood Forum), Rural Community Council, emergency services, and county archives. The SCG operated through six-monthly face-to-face meetings (seven in total), with an email group for interim exchanges. Meetings were recorded and transcribed as research evidence for analysis. This approach allowed us to work with, and exchange dialogue with, key stakeholders throughout the project to ensure that organisational and societal impacts were on-going and not just delivered at the end. Stakeholders benefited from inter-professional exchanges and learning, and being part of a learning community of practice. For example, this included co-writing an article on our research findings in Cotswold Life with Gloucestershire Rural Community Council. An evaluation of the SCG process was undertaken in November 2013 at the end of the ESRC Sustainable Flood Memories project (although all stakeholders have continued working with us during the ESRC Knowledge Exchange phase of the project). In answer to the question 'What have you learnt about the value of flood memory from involvement in the project?', stakeholder comments included: 'The emotional linkages and the depth of them' 'The importance of memory as tips for practical application' 'Community input could be better applied by authorities' Indicative responses to the question: 'How might that knowledge be useful/used in the work of your organisation(s) in flood risk management?', we found that the research findings are being used in various ways, for example, in the training of FRM professionals in the Environment Agency; and in thinking anew about strategies for community engagement by agencies that do not rely on marketing methods (as previously). Quotes from the stakeholders include: 'we could certainly use the flood memory information particularly during the recovery from flooding, to guide what support flood victims most require.' 'I feel that some of the outputs of the project such as the Flood Stories are a really useful 'thought provoking' tool to provide awareness and a 'voice' from flood victims to use in training sessions etc.' 'Communities learn from their peers in particular. Would be good to use local memories in training the groups working in association with the community plan.' 'We could update the communities section of our Community Emergency Plan toolkit with such memories and point to good practice and avoiding issues.' • End of project conference (November 2013): Here we shared our research findings with professionals who input into FRM (including those working in the media and archives), and community members alongside an interdisciplinary mix of academics. Several of the organisations had already reflected on their own engagement with lay knowledge and archiving of flood memory in our earlier research processes. The discussions and scoping were designed to encourage reflection on the impacts of our research and how different types of knowledge might be integrated in decision-making in FRM. This input into the design of our website legacy (including our archive of co-produced digital stories). • Working with communities: There were also benefits in the communities that we engaged with - with several contributors working with us longitudinally during the ESRC Sustainable Flood Memories project and the linked ESRC Knowledge Exchange project. This engendered associated critical reflection on the relationships between individual and community flood memory, lay knowledges and preparedness for future flooding. The findings are also being used by community groups (e.g. flood action groups) to help promote the value of flood memory and exchange of lay knowledges in flood risk contexts. In addition, the project has had impact in terms of "social therapy" for the elderly, vulnerable people who have embraced the project, with engagement as a kind of cathartic exercise. • Working with advisors to government: We were invited to present/ contribute to panel discussions at the Royal United Services Institute conference (RUSI; organisation that generates independent thinking to inform resilience planning in UK government) in November 2014. This talk engendered inter-professional dialogue, particularly about the implications of 'active forgetting' and 'active remembering' about flood risk in community resilience planning. It was clear from that event that some of the learning about relationships between memory, lay knowledge and resilience was relevant to other risk settings (e.g. in overseas work on polio with UNICEF). • Promoting inter-professional dialogue: the research results of the project have been shared in other fora - with mixed participation and co-learning. These included: - mixed academic-invited practitioner audiences (e.g. conferences like Royal Geographical Society Annual Conference in 2012 and 2013 where we involved the National Flood Forum (as invited practitioners); a keynote to mixed audiences of Irish and UK academics and Irish FRM professionals (such as the Irish Drainage Board) at NUI Galway in March 2012). - targeted knowledge exchange with specific professional groups who are active in building more general community resilience. These groups include arts practitioners who co-work with communities on environmental issues (e.g. in keynote to an audience of arts practitioners - co-working with water/flood risk/ resilience themes - and academics at Middlesex University in June 2013). - tailored exchange of research findings to groups with particular resilience interests. For example, we shared our research findings on emotional resilience through leading a themed workshop in SW Health Development Annual Conference (Dartlington 2014). - On-engagement with other professional groups in discussion around the research results - e.g. the regional (SW) Fire and Rescue community and the Gloucestershire Local Resilience Forum - about how the insights into how memory, lay knowledge and resilience interweave might be used both in in-house training and in informing engagement strategies with communities who have experienced recent flooding or are at future flood risk. This has resulted in closer longitudinal engagement with these groups beyond the project lifespan. - In addition through the project, there has been a strong attention to regional public engagement - through lectures, media articles and radio contributions. This included an open access public lecture at UWE, Bristol with flood risk professionals and the general public in May 2013. 4. On-going impact activities • Targeted knowledge exchange using digital stories: We will report more fully on the ESRC knowledge exchange part of the project later but would like to highlight a few points here. Through our partnership working, there has been knowledge exchange between the academic project team and the professional partners (e.g. discussions around the different languages of engagement with communities when sharing digital stories). We are currently evaluating how the medium and messages in community-generated stories are exchanged in communities, using digital stories as a medium, and also our academic-professional partnership processes. This means that a wider group of organisations and community are engaged with and learning from the project (e.g. Tewkesbury Borough Council - waiving workshop room hire costs on account of the perceived benefits to local communities in terms of flood awareness, and Slough District Council - also involved in a DEFRA Community Pathfinder Project). A key impact is in getting the governance agencies community to realise the significance of narratives in relation to communication with communities and interest constituencies. We have evidence that is beginning to happen through our work with the Environment Agency. • Work with schools: Our exchange strategy (still on-going) involves preparing a paper for the Journal Geography that is for UK geography teachers to promote our research findings in ways that might inform the schools' curriculum around risk, drawing on local case-studies. We are also sharing, and evaluating the impact of, our digital stories with schools as part of Political Studies Association workshop on 'The Politics of Flooding and Climate Change' at Bath Spa University in December 2014. • Exchange in other UK Government community resilience initiatives: At regional and levels, we continue to exchange learnings from the ESRC Sustainable Flood Memories project with our regional partners in the Severn catchment but also in other flood risk management settings. For example, experiences in drawing on memory and lay knowledge around flood risk from the project have been shared with local government and the other FRM agencies like the National Flood Forum through the DEFRA Community Pathfinder project to help build community resilience in the Swindon case-study. • Use of social media for legacy and on-going impact: Our new project website (esrcfloodmemories.ac.uk) is linked to YouTube, Twitter and to other sites (Centre for Floods, Communities and Resilience, UWE). This will hopefully facilitate greater impact amongst a wide age-range, and is being monitored for hits and impact. Our archive of digital stories is accessible both through this site and UWE Bristol's Youtube channel. • Feed in to other inter-professional research projects that aim to inform strategies to build community resilience: Our research on Sustainable Flood Memory has also informed new research work with other inter-professional research projects e.g. the AHRC 'Towards Hydrocitizenship' project (see www.hydrocitizenship.com) and the RCUK DRY project 'Drought Risk and You' (see www.uwe.ac.uk/research/dry). The project has informed the EPSRC SESAME project (see http://sesame.uk.com) by highlighting the role of digital stories in learning around flood risk response. 5. Challenges to achieve impact • One challenge has been the transitory nature of staff deployment to flood risk responsibilities within some partner organisations, particularly in the current climate of financial cutbacks post the 2007 crash. For example, our national contact in the Environment Agency changed several times over the project lifespan. This has required strong inter-professional effort to try and ensure continuity of dialogue for impact. The fact that the ESRC Knowledge Exchange project has been integrated with the ESRC Sustainable Flood Memories project has been important for project legacy. This partnership working with the Environment Agency, County Rural Community Council and Local Government has allowed us the opportunity to reflect on the relationships between flood memory, local knowledge and resilience, but also in how research might be linked to practice in how communities can draw on flood memory to engage around flood risk preparedness through different resilience frames. • Another area of challenge is the sharing of research/knowledge exchange resources ('captured community voices') with some FRM agencies, when the use of digital technologies (like Youtube) is not allowed in the workplace for some staff. For example, this meant that a webinar we organised for knowledge exchange with community engagement officers in the Environment Agency was only partially successful, and that we have so far been unable to archive our digital stories on the Environment Agency's Youtube channel, as previously planned. • Linked to the point about working with vulnerable people, there were challenges around public fears of publishing digital stories on the internet, which needed addressing as the project progressed. We will complete a case-study on ethical issues raised by the research for the ESRC as requested for February 2015. Some of this research on flood memory, lay knowledge and resilience has contributed to thinking about drought memories, lay knowledge and resilience within NERC DRY (Drought Risk and You). NERC DRY is engaging a wide range of stakeholders in its research processes.
First Year Of Impact 2014
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink,Communities and Social Services/Policy,Education,Environment,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections
Impact Types Societal,Economic

 
Description Amphibious Screens - Sustainable Cultures of Water Seminar Series - international network grant
Amount £9,000 (GBP)
Organisation University of Warwick 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2022 
End 05/2022
 
Description Research Development Fund
Amount £5,000 (GBP)
Organisation University of Warwick 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 11/2017 
End 07/2018
 
Description Slow Memory: Transformative Practices for Times of Uneven and Accelerating Change
Amount € 125,000 (EUR)
Organisation European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) 
Sector Public
Country Belgium
Start 09/2021 
End 10/2025
 
Description ACUMEN - Archives for Climate Uncertainty, Memory and Engagement 
Organisation University of the West of England
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution A collaboration between University of West of England, University of Warwick, Loughborough University, Mass Observation Archive, Modern Records Centre and variety of regional and professional archives to explore uncertainty evidence.
Collaborator Contribution Partners from the Afterlives of Protest network (Mass Observation Archive, Modern Records Centre) brought their expertise and knowledge of holding s to the development of a large AHRC grant submitted February 27th 2020.
Impact This is a multi-disciplinary collaboration. ACUMEN is exploring reconnecting communities with their cultural memories of everyday uncertainty. National repositories such as The National Archives, Mass Observation Archive (MOA), BBC Archives, BFI, MetLib, British Geological Survey (BGS) Archives and the Modern Records Centre will be mobilised to re-visit their roles and collections for evidence of climate uncertainty experience and adaptation. Regional and local collections (such as the Media Archive for Central England, Gloucestershire Heritage Hub, John Moore's Museum, Tewkesbury) and the informal archives of local flood action groups are being explored to creatively connect to address the need for communities to learn to live with uncertainty in place-specific ways.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Transformative Memory - Confronting the Past in Grand-Scale Socio-Economic Change 
Organisation Aarhus University
Country Denmark 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This project seeks to move memory and heritage studies beyond an exclusive focus on "conflictual pasts" in the traditional sense, while not neglecting the importance of understanding collective responses to historical violence. We aim to bring together scholars to discuss memory from a holistic perspective of large-scale transformation processes. The following areas have been identified as starting points for framing discussions: Post-industrial communities Reconfiguration of welfare and social care systems Post-conflict divisions in society Changing political landscapes Environmental change
Collaborator Contribution Researchers of protest memory are contributing in terms of leadership, conference contributions and research meetings across Europe to develop a COST network bid for April 2020.
Impact Conference at Nottingham Trent University, 3-5 June 2020
Start Year 2019
 
Description Transformative Memory - Confronting the Past in Grand-Scale Socio-Economic Change 
Organisation Nottingham Trent University
Department School of Arts and Humanities
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This project seeks to move memory and heritage studies beyond an exclusive focus on "conflictual pasts" in the traditional sense, while not neglecting the importance of understanding collective responses to historical violence. We aim to bring together scholars to discuss memory from a holistic perspective of large-scale transformation processes. The following areas have been identified as starting points for framing discussions: Post-industrial communities Reconfiguration of welfare and social care systems Post-conflict divisions in society Changing political landscapes Environmental change
Collaborator Contribution Researchers of protest memory are contributing in terms of leadership, conference contributions and research meetings across Europe to develop a COST network bid for April 2020.
Impact Conference at Nottingham Trent University, 3-5 June 2020
Start Year 2019
 
Description Transformative Memory - Confronting the Past in Grand-Scale Socio-Economic Change 
Organisation Paris West University Nanterre La Défense
Country France 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This project seeks to move memory and heritage studies beyond an exclusive focus on "conflictual pasts" in the traditional sense, while not neglecting the importance of understanding collective responses to historical violence. We aim to bring together scholars to discuss memory from a holistic perspective of large-scale transformation processes. The following areas have been identified as starting points for framing discussions: Post-industrial communities Reconfiguration of welfare and social care systems Post-conflict divisions in society Changing political landscapes Environmental change
Collaborator Contribution Researchers of protest memory are contributing in terms of leadership, conference contributions and research meetings across Europe to develop a COST network bid for April 2020.
Impact Conference at Nottingham Trent University, 3-5 June 2020
Start Year 2019
 
Description Transformative Memory - Confronting the Past in Grand-Scale Socio-Economic Change 
Organisation University of Warsaw
Country Poland 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This project seeks to move memory and heritage studies beyond an exclusive focus on "conflictual pasts" in the traditional sense, while not neglecting the importance of understanding collective responses to historical violence. We aim to bring together scholars to discuss memory from a holistic perspective of large-scale transformation processes. The following areas have been identified as starting points for framing discussions: Post-industrial communities Reconfiguration of welfare and social care systems Post-conflict divisions in society Changing political landscapes Environmental change
Collaborator Contribution Researchers of protest memory are contributing in terms of leadership, conference contributions and research meetings across Europe to develop a COST network bid for April 2020.
Impact Conference at Nottingham Trent University, 3-5 June 2020
Start Year 2019
 
Description Discussion stimuli at Tipping Point conference (Doing Nothing Is Not An Option) at University of Warwick (17th June 2016) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Artists participated in a workshop on role of arts in research and practice within the thematic area of community flood memory, lay knowledge and resilience. Contributed discussion stimuli materials on 'active remembering' and 'active forgetting' floods and their negotiation in communities.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description ESRC Flood Memories conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation paper presentation
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Project conference as part of the research process

Follow on invitations to share about the groups in practitioner settings
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://esrcfloodmemories.wordpress.com
 
Description Invited Conference Panel 'Memory Studies Association' Madrid June 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Development of a new strand of research to the Arts and Humanities based on water and media. A key part of the Memory Studies International Conference June 2019
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.memorystudiesassociation.org/
 
Description Invited Talk: Liquid memory and water environment activism, Memory Studies Association Conference, Copenhagen, Dec 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact The paper offered examples of art/media/memory activism in Brazil and the UK on drought, flood and water management as interventions from the perspective of water itself and its ability to remember where it once was.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.memorystudiesassociation.org/copenhagen-conference-2017-program
 
Description McEwen, L. J. Disaster resilient initiatives in the UK: "Flood Memory, Flood Narratives, Local Knowledge and Community Resilience" 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Keynote at School of Architecture and Planning, Delhi. 24th April 2019.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Policy making discussions on the UK Bricks and Water flood policy 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Expert contribution to Policy Connect events

Sustainability priorities for the new Parliament
All-Party Parliamentary Climate Change Group, All Party Sustainable Resource Group, Carbon Connect, the Westminster Sustainable Business Forum and the Sustainable Resource Forum Feb 2020

Sustainable Drainage Systems and Green Infrastructure (10.03.20, 10.00-12.00) - This roundtable will explore methods for controlling surface water runoff, requirements for SuDS in new development and options for adoption and retrofit of SuDS at the property-level. Chaired by Baroness McIntosh of Pickering.

Property Flood Resilience for New and Existing Homes (25.03.20, 10.00-12.00) - This roundtable will review the forthcoming code of practice on property flood resilience and discuss best practice for flood resistance and resilience in vulnerable communities. Chaired by Ruth Jones MP (TBC)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.policyconnect.org.uk/research/bricks-water-plan-action-building-homes-and-managing-water...
 
Description Presentation and extended abstract at Flood and Coasts 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation and discussion - to promote ESRC Sustainable Flood Memories and its digital storytelling archive to a national practitioner audience.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Presentation at Sustainability West Midlands Climate Resilient Communities Conference 2016 - 28 January 2016. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This was a presentation to regional practitioners to promote outcomes of the ESRC Sustainable Flood Memories project, and to share the archive of 'preparedness' stories for work with communities and professional training.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Presentation to Fire and Rescue Services in SW region (meeting was hosted by Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact In the presentation, selected results of the ESRC Flood Memories project (of interest to Fire and Rescue) were shared. Selected digital stories were also used as a stimulus for discussion. After the presentation there was discussion about the information/ knowledge needs for the Fire and Rescue Services.

The main impact was follow up requests for information, and the potential for closer future working.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Presentation to Gloucestershire Local Resilience Forum 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The presentation shared key insights from the ESRC Flood Memories project. This stimulated discussion and questions afterwards. One of the members of the Local Resilience Forum (from Gloucestershire County Council) has been part of our Stakeholder Competency Group throughout the project so the project already has strong links with LRF.

The key impact is increased engagement of the LRF with the outcomes of our work. This has included requests for follow up individual discussions.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014