Firm foundations or castles in sand: The shifting sources of flood risk and the implications for flood governance: An english case study
White, I. (2014). Firm foundations or castles in sand: The shifting sources of flood risk and the implications for flood governance: An english case study. In B. C. Glavovic & G. P. Smith (Eds.), Adapting to Climate Change: Lessons from Natural Hazards Planning (pp. 101–121). Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-017-8631-7_5
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/13940
This chapter will provide an overview and analysis of the experiences of flooding in England since the end of the twentieth century with a view to informing debate in other countries. A critical reflection on the events of the last decade is particularly illuminating; encompassing a complete readjustment of our understanding of the sources of risk and subsequently exposing deficiencies in the ability of related governance frameworks to respond. The response to a series of damaging events from the scientific and policy making community was relatively swift, and included a significant change to the dominant paradigm from flood defence to flood risk management. This fundamental transition did, however, lead to a cascading series of interrelated governance implications and the development of new socio-technical assemblages, some of which were easier to anticipate than others. The effects encompassed alterations to the related methodology and a more neoliberal approach to risk management with repercussions for new responsibilities amongst a wider array of professions. The shift of the main source of flood risk from the rivers and sea towards surface water and drains was sudden and largely driven by forcing trends in climate and urbanization, creating the potential for lessons to be passed on to other countries who may experience similar pressures in the future; in essence to question the governance foundations shaping intervention – do they have longevity or, as was experienced in England, may they be castles on sand?
This is a pre-print of an article published in Adapting to Climate Change: Lessons from Natural Hazards Planning. The final authenticated version is available online at: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-017-8631-7_5