Investigating the Social Value of the Ripon Rivers Flood Alleviation Scheme

Abstract

This paper argues for an approach to flood alleviation design that considers the need not only for technical knowledge, but also a social perspective. It is predicted that more intense rainfall and rising sea levels will result in a greater number of people vulnerable to flood events. Flood alleviation design in the UK is often focused upon technical and cost-effective solutions, and consideration of social impact is seen as secondary. This paper examines how the social value of a UK flood alleviation scheme is perceived and discussed, by the local community and by those responsible for the design of the scheme, and exposes differences in perceptions both between and within these two groups. It recommends a future approach in which an understanding of the social value of a flood alleviation scheme is first co-produced with the community affected, enabling the design of a socially acceptable and successful project.

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