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Alethea Walker

Role of Green Infrastructure in mitigating urban flood risk.

Project title

Green Infrastructure: understanding its role in mitigating current and future flood risk in urban areas


Project description

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) are funding this research as part of the Water Infrastructure and Resilience (WIRe) Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) program. Newcastle University is a consortium partner of this program. Northumbrian Water provides co-funding.

In England alone, 3.2 million households are in areas at risk of surface water flooding. Annual damages exceed £300 million. Green Infrastructure (GI) can provide a means of reducing the amount of surface water entering drainage systems via infiltration, interception, and transpiration. It can provide both temporary and more long-term storage. We need evidence to understand how, where and when GI aids flood risk mitigation over time and space.

This project will look for answers to the following research questions:

  • How can we better represent the structure and function of GI in our flood risk impact models?
  • How can we design GI into the existing urban fabric to maximise benefits and reduce costs?
  • How effective will GI be as a flood mitigation measure under future climate?

This project will conduct controlled experiments at the National Green Infrastructure Facility and at locations of different GI types across the Newcastle.

Outcomes will include:

  • improved understanding of GI performance
  • an assessment of the long-term performance and costs of GI, including management and maintenance
  • aid in designing future GI strategies to mitigate climate-induced flood risk in urban areas