Delivering and Evaluating Multiple Flood Risk Benefits in Blue-Green Cities
The University of Nottingham
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Blue-Green Cities (2013-2016)

The Blue-Green Cities Research Project was led by Prof Colin Thorne, University of Nottingham, and ran from 2013-2016. Nine UK Universities were involved in addition to numerous academic, industry and local government partners. 

The Research Consortium developed new strategies for managing urban flood risk as part of wider, integrated urban planning intended to achieve environmental enhancement and urban renewal in which multiple benefits of Blue-Green Cities are rigorously evaluated and understood. 

The project outputs are outlined in the Key Project Outputs Summary (Feb 2016) (5.8 MB PDF file icon) and factsheets.

This includes the GIS Multiple Benefits Toolbox for the assessment of the relative significance and spatial distribution of the benefits of Blue-Green infrastructure.   

 *The team are now embarking on a new EPSRC-funded research project - Achieving Urban Flood Resilience in an Uncertain Future - see*


What is a Blue-Green City?

A Blue-Green City aims to recreate a naturally-oriented water cycle while contributing to the amenity of the city by bringing water management and green infrastructure together. 

This is achieved by combining and protecting the hydrological and ecological values of the urban landscape while providing resilient and adaptive measures to deal with flood events. 

Blue-Green Cities generate a multitude of environmental, ecological, socio-cultural and economic benefits. 

What is a Blue-Green City? Read our detailed definition. 

Read more about our Research.

Meet the Blue-Green Cities Research Team

Blue-Green Cities is an interdisciplinary research project led by Colin ThorneUniversity of Nottingham

Learn more about the Blue-Green Cities Research Team.

Example publications

O’Donnell E, Woodhouse R, Thorne C. Evaluating the multiple benefits of a Newcastle surface water management scheme. Proceedings of the ICE – Water Management, 2017. DOI: 10.1680/jwama.16.00103. 

Everett G, Morzillo A, Lamond J, Matsler M, Chan F. Delivering Green Streets: An exploration of changing perceptions and behaviours over time around bioswales in Portland, Oregon. Journal of Flood Risk Management, 2015. Access article here

Thorne C, Lawson E, Ozawa C, Hamlin S, Smith L. Understanding and overcoming uncertainty and lack of confidence as barriers to wide adoption of Blue-Green infrastructure for urban flood risk management. Journal of Flood Risk Management, 2015. Access article here

See more publications  by the Blue-Green Cities Research team.

2014 UK-US collaboration

Clean Water for All Research Project (CWFA)

Portland, May 2014: combining research expertise of the Blue-Green Cities and Portland-Vancouver ULTRA (Urban Long-term Research Area) Projects.

CWFA dissemination: this research was presented at the  Urban Water and Flood Risk Management: The Blue-Green Advantage. A China-UK-US Knowledge Exchange Workshop, June 2015, Ningbo China.

Blue-Green Cities end of project dissemination event Feb 2016

On the 18th February, the Blue-Green Cities Research Consortium and partners from the project demonstration city, Newcastle UK, hosted an event to disseminate research findings, showcase influential speakers and discuss how a Blue-Green vision for improved flood resilience might progress.  

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 
  • Colin Thorne, BGC lead, University of Nottingham 
  • 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  

Read more about the event and download the associated documents.

2015 demonstration case study: Newcastle

In 2015, the Blue-Green Cities team focussed their research on Newcastle, UK, and the assessment and evaluation of the multiple benefits of different flood risk management strategies in the urban core and middle Ouseburn catchment. Read more (WP5).  

Find out about the Newcastle Learning and Action Alliance (LAA)

 A photograph of a church in Newcastle, 2013  

A photograph of Newcastle SuDS (storage pond), 2013


Twenty65 Annual Conference 2017

This week I attended the Twenty65 Annual Conference 2017 – Bringing the Water Sector Together (April 4-5th, Manchester). TWENTY65, an EPSRC research project, are working in partnership across the water sector to tailor water systems so that they deliver positive impact on health, the environment, the economy and society. The conference provided an opportunity for academics, practitioners, policy makers ...

The post Twenty65 Annual Conference 2017 appeared first on Blue-Green Cities.

SCOT Flood Forum – 23rd February 2017

The Urban Flood Resilience team were invited to showcase their project aims, objectives and case studies at the February meeting of the SCOT Flood Forum. This was a great opportunity for the ‘Achieving Urban Flood Resilience in an Uncertain Future’ (UFRM) research project to introduce its wide reaching research team (including social scientists from the Open ...

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Risk, Resilience and Response in a changing Climate

The ‘Risk, Resilience and Response in a changing Climate’ conference was held in Glasgow on the 31st January and hosted by Impact Engagement. A diverse audience of Scottish planners, flood risk officers, local authority representatives, SEPA (Scottish Environmental Protection Agency), Scottish Water, Scottish Power (SP Energy), Scottish Government, the Scottish Flood Forum and SNIFFER attended, creating ...

The post Risk, Resilience and Response in a changing Climate appeared first on Blue-Green Cities.

Urban Flood Resilience Project blog launches!

The Urban Flood Resilience Research Project (2016-2019) officially kicked off with the release of our Inception Report in January 2017. The project aims to enable the coordinated planning, design and operation of coupled urban water systems necessary to achieve transformative change in urban flood risk and water management. Research focuses on three key themes, divided ...

The post Urban Flood Resilience Project blog launches! appeared first on Blue-Green Cities.


Blue-Green Cities Research Project

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

Tel. 0115 8468137