Achieving Urban Flood Resilience in an Uncertain Future
University of Nottingham


The Urban Flood Resilience project took a radical approach based on methods and models that are locally-defined (making them applicable), but spatially-linked through the ‘stormwater cascade’, making them transferrable and suitable for up-scaling, regionally and nationally.

The stormwater cascade refers to the management of stormwater as a hazard and as a resource, from when it arrives in the catchment to when it leaves the urban area.

These hazards and resource potentials include flood risk, water supply, non-potable use (including rainwater harvesting), groundwater/soil recharge, energy generation, recreation and biodiversity.

They call for a suite of linked research methods and models at a number of scales, from natural flood risk management at the catchment scale, to property level protection at the plot scale.



Participatory action research and social practice theory was used to examine the relationships between researchers, practitioners and communities based on Learning and Action Alliances in both Newcastle upon Tyne and Ebbsfleet.

Real options analysis was used to find the optimum combination of blue-green and grey assets, centred on maximising multiple benefits and service delivery.

System interdependencies examined interactions with other components of the urban fabric including open spaces, transport routes and buildings.

GIS visualisation was used to assess the performance of blue-green and grey assets and map the distribution and strength of their multiple benefits.


SHETRAN was used to couple catchment hydrology and sediment/contaminant inputs to urban systems.

CityCAT was used to model urban pluvial and fluvial flodo risk (and the effect of different alleviation measures) with simulations driven by rainfall, flow and/or water depth time series.  The tool simulated how stormwater cascased through the urban area, and mapped where opporunities existed for capture and re-use.

WaterMet2 was coupled with CityCAT to explore the interconnections between different types of urban water, specifically looking at water supply, sub-catchment, wastewater and water resource recovery.

Eco-hydrological modelling applied time series data from other models to determine the resilience of vegetation in blue-green assets.


For more information, please refer to an infographic of the  Project Scope [PDF].

Urban Flood Resilience Research Project

Sir Clive Granger Building
University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0)115 846 8137