Delivering and Evaluating Multiple Flood Risk Benefits in Blue-Green Cities
University of Nottingham

Events and News

Urban Flood Resilience special issue (February 2020) 

Royal Society Publishing has recently published a special issue of Philosophical Transactions A entitled Urban Flood Resilience compiled and edited by Richard Fenner.

Articles can be accessed at

Download the flyer (PDF).

Urban Flood Resilience special issue

June 2016: Defra launches Flood Risk Management and Modelling Competition

Defra has launched a Flood Risk Management Competition, to create an opportunity for a wide range of interested parties to apply their particular areas of expertise to a specific flood risk management challenge. The competition will focus on the following question:

If you were responsible for managing the Eden catchment in Cumbria, what flood risk management approaches would you recommend, and why?

The competition will be formally launched by the Environment Minister Rory Stewart at a half-day event at Defra’s London headquarters, to be held on 20th July, 2016. 

More information is availabe on the Defra website.


BGC dissemination2

Improving Flood Resilience: The Blue-Green Advantage

Thursday 18th February 2016 10.00 - 16.00, Newcastle Centre for Life

We need to get more for less in flood risk management. Climate change, economic development and growth increase risk, whilst funding is ever more constrained. Blue-Green infrastructure can help manage these risks whilst offering other multiple benefits; improved quality of life for communities via benefits to health, wellbeing and recreation, increased climate protection from heat and floods, improved air quality, carbon storage, and reduced noise, energy and water pollution. However, putting such schemes into practice is challenging due to complex governance, finance and significant up-front time needed for project development. 

Over the past three years, the Blue-Green Cities team from nine leading Universities have researched cutting edge techniques for advancing Blue-Green approaches, from better modelling of water and sediment flows to creating new tools to evaluate the multiple benefits and determine stakeholder perceptions and values. In parallel, local partners including Newcastle City Council, Northumbrian Water, the Environment Agency and Newcastle University have explored what these approaches mean for the city and developed working relationships which seek to influence a Blue-Green Vision for Newcastle. 

This event disseminated our research findings and launched a pledge to support a Blue-Green Vision, encouraging partners and the wider region to sign the pledge and collaborate to make it a reality. 

Keynote speakers included:

  • Cllr Ged Bell, Cabinet Member for Investment and Development 
  • Richard Warneford, Waste Water Director, Northumbrian Water
  • Marie Fallon, Area Manager – North East, Environment Agency 
  • Prof Colin Thorne, Blue-Green Cities project lead, University of Nottingham 
  • Prof Chris Kilsby and Clare Rogers, Newcastle University 
  • Mary Dhonau, Chair of the Flood Protection Group for the Property Care Association, CEO of the ‘Know Your Flood Risk’ campaign 

Benefits of attending included: 

  • Hearing influential thinkers and viewing insightful presentations
  • Being part of the discussion on progressing the Blue-Green Vision and working in partnership throughout Newcastle and the wider region 
  • Learning more about the findings of the Blue-Green Cities project and how such research could change policy and practice at  local, national and international levels
  • Networking and engaging with key city partners to develop ideas and practical projects, such as retrofitting Blue-Green infrastructure and including it in new developments 

Download the presentations from the event from the Newcastle Dissemination Event 2016 page.  


Images for dissemination event flyer


2015 Liveable Cities Forum: Building Flood Resiliency

Colin Thorne presenting at the 2015 Liveable Cities Forum

Image sourced from ICLEI Storify 2015

Prof Colin Thorne, Blue-Green Cities PI, attended the 2015 Livable Cities Forum: Building Flood Resiliency (Calgary, Canada) and showcased some of the recent research from the Blue-Green Cities Consortium. Colin's presentation, Flood Resilient Cities: the Blue-Green Advantage, was well received by the conference participants who were highly supportive of the Blue-Green concept for sustainable water and flood risk management. 

**Download Colin's presentation (PPT 12.1 MB)**

The event was hosted by the City of Calgary in partnership with ICLEI Canada and the Canadian Water Resources Association (CWRA). Leaders in resiliency and municipal practitioners were brought together for a national dialogue on how to build more flood resilient communities.                                                    


Urban Water and Flood Risk Management: The Blue-Green Advantage

A China-UK-US Knowledge Exchange Workshop

University of Nottingham Ningbo Campus (UNNC)

June 15-18, 2015

This event brought together UK-US-Chinese academics who had worked together since 2014 on the ‘Clean Water for All’ (CWFA) initiative (funded by the EPSRC). The event was an opportunity to present some of the results of the CWFA project and to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and experience on the advantages of using integrated drainage systems, best management practices and Blue-Green infrastructure to provide sustainable and resilient urban water, flood risk and environmental management.

The Knowledge Exchange Workshop was attended by 19 members from six Ningbo Government departments; Ningbo Planning and Design Research Institution, Office of Water Diversion from Outside Ningbo Borders, Ningbo Water Conservancy Design and Planning Research Institution, Ningbo Rural Water Conservancy Management Office, Ningbo Flood Control and Drought Relief Office, and the Ningbo Hydrological Station. The event was kindly support by the Ningbo Association of Science and Technology and the Institute of Asia and Pacific Studies

Read more about this event in our blog.




February 2015

Shaun Maskrey (EPSRC Studentship) is in the news with his community modelling work in Southwell, Notts (published in The Bramley Newspaper).



Guest lectures and presentations

Public Science Lecture by Emily Lawson, Managing Urban Flood Risk: the Blue-Green Approach, University of Nottingham, 18th December 2014 6 pm. Download presentation here PDF file icon

Presentation by Nigel Wright at the State Key Laboratory for High Speed Flows and Mountain River Engineering, University of Sichuan, Chengdu, China, November 18th 2014. Title: Sustainable Urban Flood Risk Management. 

Guest lecture by Colin ThorneKeeping your head above water: coping with flooding in the UK, University of Derby,  9th April 2014 5 pm.  

Professor Sue White

We regret to announce the death of Sue White, Professor of Integrated Catchment Management at Cranfield University, on Saturday, 15th March. Sue was one of the founding members of the Blue-Green Cities Research Project, and a Professor at Cranfield University. 

An obituary for Sue can be downloaded here PDF file icon

In appreciation of her career contributions, Sue's colleagues have been raising money for the Cranfield student charity, SAFAD that sends graduates to work on aid projects in developing countries. You can contribute via mydonate.


Blue-Green Cities Project Team News

October 2013

Dabo Guan has been awarded the 2013 Philip Leverhulme prize (£70,000) for outstanding scholars who have made a substantial contribution to their particular field of study, recognised at an international level. Dabo's prize relates to climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Emily Lawson has been awarded the prize for Best Research Degree Thesis in the Faculty of Science (University of Bristol) in 2012/2013 for her thesis on subglacial carbon cycling. 

Summer 2013

In the summer of 2013 the Blue-Green Cities Research Team received support from the NSF/EPSRC Clean Water for All programme for collaborative research with several partners from the U.S. Pacific North West in 2014.

The Consortium also went on a fact-finding mission to Portland, Oregon, in April 2013. Is Portland a Blue-Green City? -  read more  about our trip.



News, blog and RSS news feed   

Photograph of flowing river with mossy banks and debris, Portland, OR.  

Blue-Green Cities Research Project

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University of Nottingham,
University Park,
Nottingham, NG7 2RD.

Tel. 0115 8468137