New social directions in UK flood risk management: moving towards flood risk citizenship?

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Abstract

This paper explores the evolution of a more sociotechnical variety of flood and coastal risk management (FCRM) in the UK that emphasises community engagement and personal or community level responsibility for flood risk planning, awareness and resilience alongside more traditional, centrally managed structural and technical measures. Specifically, it explores three interlocking drivers of the social turn in UK FCRM: (i) the need to adapt to climate change and address the lessons from associated high profile flood events; (ii) pressures to integrate FCRM with the sustainable development agenda; and (iii) a broader trend towards a ‘civic model’ in UK environmental policy-making and delivery. The paper also explores the practical impact and manifestation of these drivers in current FCRM planning and delivery frameworks, and suggests several critical pathways for a deeper embedding of the approach.

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