Newcastle Learning and Action Alliance (LAA)
The Blue-Green Cities team worked in partnership with stakeholders in Newcastle to develop a Blue-Green vision that includes flood risk and surface water management plus the delivery of multiple diverse ecological, socio-cultural and economic benefits.
The team learned from, and contributed to, the exciting initiatives going on in Newcastle, and opened up a discussion on flood risk management and Blue-Green infrastructure by forming a Learning and Action Alliance (LAA).
- Watch Emily's webinar on LAAs (YouTube)
LAAs - the facts
LAAs are a cooperative, horizontal forum where people can bring their expertise, but talk freely outside of any organisational constraints in an atmosphere of mutual trust and ownership.
They are dynamic groupings that can grow organically, being open to all who have an interest, but within it specific sub-groupings to focus on particular interests and problems are encouraged.
LAAs provide a platform to facilitate open knowledge-sharing and discussions, encouraging the development of a clearer vision and enabling progress towards that end.
This may involve participants willing to take risks and discuss options previously outside the constraints of existing formal institutional settings.
Solutions or ideas are afterwards presented in formal inter-organisational decision-making processes.
LAAs have been trialled as frameworks to establish, maintain and sustain partnerships tackling flooding and wider urban water management in light of the new challenges of urban societies. They have been successfully used in the EU MARE (Managing Adaptive Responses to changing flood risk) project (MARE LAAs);
See also Ashley et al 2012, van Herk et al 2011, and Newman et al 2010.
There is no fixed structure in an LAA; it is important that they are locally and technically grounded and have their own specific vision that evolves over the lifetime of the LAA.
LAAs typically consist of a series of structured platforms at different institutional levels (city, river basin, national, international) designed to break down barriers to both horizontal and vertical information sharing and thus to speed up the process of identification, adaptation and uptake of new information
Please see our blog post for more information on LAAs.
Reports, websites and projects in Newcastle (chronological order)
Green Infrastructure (GI)
A wealth of information is collated in the Green Infrastructure Signposting document produced by Natural England . This includes;
- GI guidance
- Economic value of GI and ecosystem services
- GI and the water environment
- Sustainable transport and GI
- Community engagement
- Case studies, videos and examples of strategies