A National Agenda
With increasing evidence from conference and research (McIntyre, Thorne et al 2012) of the need to stimulate sustainable, multi-benefit, biodiverse rural fabric for the management of flood events, the opportunity exists for a broad agenda to encompass both the natural and the built environments (where value at risk is concentrated).
Making space for water and for people can be mutually inclusive. Sustainable rural solutions can invade urban environments. A fundamental approach to this is the consideration of gravitational stream networks, dynamic hydraulic models and any network of floodplain pastures/amenity-areas which capable of doubling as primary conveyors for high magnitude floods
Mechanisms for connecting demand and supply of Ecosystem Services are required. Novel approaches to managing urban flood risk taking account of the wider rural surrounds are helpful, but will necessitate significant change in the ways cities are managed, planned and developed. Previous research has identified options for future urban flood risk management that align with more general targets for water centric, sustainable communities. However, as always, productive delivery and cost benefit analysis discipline the approach. Sustainable low-cost engineering can be a helpful tool in bringing such an agenda to fruition.
Within this context Atrepo seeks to map, model and connect the provision of amenity corridors with the goal of flood alleviation: such provision stimulating best practice (Defra PES) for multiple-benefit. Amenity corridors can be engineered for conveyance of exceedance flows ( foot/tow paths) or for hydraulic friction, biodiversity and pollution management (robust hedgerows).
Thereby science can influence policy and improve wellbeing for communities at risk from flooding.