Sustainable flood memories, lay knowledges and the development of community resilience to future flood risk
1 Centre for Floods, Communities and Resilience, University of the West of England, Bristol, UK
2 Centre for Cultural Policy Studies, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK
a Corresponding author: Lindsey.McEwen@uwe.ac.uk
Shifts to devolved flood risk management in the UK pose questions about how the changing role of floodplain residents in community-led adaptation planning can be supported and strengthened. This paper shares insights from an interdisciplinary research project that has proposed the concept of ‘sustainable flood memory’ in the context of effective flood risk management. The research aimed to increase understanding of whether and how flood memories from the UK Summer 2007 extreme floods provide a platform for developing lay knowledges and flood resilience. The project investigated what factors link flood memory and lay knowledges of flooding, and how these connect and disconnect during and after flood events. In particular, and relation to flood governance directions, we sought to explore how such memories might play a part in individual and community resilience. The research presented here explores some key themes drawn from semi-structured interviews with floodplain residents with recent flood experiences in contrasting demographic and physical settings in the lower River Severn catchment. These include changing practices in making flood memories and materialising flood knowledge and the roles of active remembering and active forgetting.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2016
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