Posted: Tuesday 10th October 2017

Leading water management experts from across the globe are gathered in Hull recently to kick off an ambitious project which could see the city transformed into a world leader in flood resilience.

Living with Water is an initiative which will see the meetings of experienced minds to transform Hull and neighbouring Haltemprice into an exemplar for resilience by returning the area to its roots as a place that lives in harmony with water.

Key partners, including Yorkshire Water, Hull City Council, East Riding of Yorkshire Council and the Environment Agency, will work with academics, urban designers and resilience experts from Canada, the US and further afield, to take a fresh approach to addressing flood risk. The initiative's aim is to develop even more sustainable solutions that work in harmony with the environment and provide wider benefits to the local community such as access to green space, improved air quality and biodiversity benefits.

Hull and East Riding residents will already be familiar with flood alleviation schemes with multiple benefits thanks to various flood storage projects like Hull City Council's urban aqua green schemes and East Riding of Yorkshire Council's £22million Anlaby and East Ella Flood Alleviation Scheme which plans to include sports pitches.

The ongoing River Hull Defences project, led by the Environment Agency, is delivering £36m of defence improvements on the River Hull and will integrate riverside recreation space for the city.

Other potential flood measures in progress in Hull and Haltemprice include community wetland creation, urban tree planting, pop up parks and new water sensitive building design.

The recent meeting at C4DI, in the heart of the city's digital quarter, was the first in a series of two-day collaborative planning workshops known as charrettes. The key partners will work with global experts to begin the process of developing a plan to transform the Hull and the surrounding area into one of the most adaptive environments on the planet.

Following the workshop the partners plan to involve local businesses, politicians and communities in the next steps of taking forward the opportunities identified.

Nevil Muncaster, Director of Asset Management for Yorkshire Water said: "10 years after the 2007 floods there has been a great deal of progress on flood resilience in Hull and the surrounding area, but climate change means the goal posts are constantly moving and we need to think differently about how we approach the challenge further into the future. After London, Hull is the UK's second city most prone to flooding and we cannot continue to simply build bigger and bigger sewers, we need to look at more sustainable solutions.

"The history of Hull and Haltemprice is tied to the opportunities for connectivity and trade offered by the water environment, but over the years the area has moved away from those roots. Through the Living with Water charrettes, we want to work with experts and communities that are key to rediscovering the area's relationship with water - shaping a successful, sustainable centre that is ready for the future."

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August 2021

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