Dutch water experts will help the English town of Wisbech with a development plan for a new, flood-resilient, residential area.

Dutch consultancy firms Royal HaskoningDHV and Nelen & Schuurmans, together with research institute Deltares, will be working with water utility Anglian Water to create this new residential area.

Early stakeholder’s involvement
In the early stage of the project, a method called Toolset for Rapid Interactive Collaborative Optioneering (Trico) will be used to assure the close involvement of stakeholders in the development of the overall design.

This method includes the use of visualisation techniques, such as a MapTable, and fast hydrological models to simulate flooding.

In addition, the approach addresses more factors than flood defences only, such as cascading effects involving critical infrastructure, leisure opportunities, habitats and landscape quality.

dws-deltares-wisbech-map-350px  By using a MapTable suggestions by stakeholder can immediately by visualised.

Integrated flood risk management
Deltares project manager Dana Stuparu: ‘This project is a very nice example of a truly integrated approach to flood risk management for the town of Wisbech, in which all stakeholders will join forces to combine work on water safety with urban development.’

Deltares will provide expert input and will contribute to the translation of hydraulics to risk and opportunity metrics.

Strict regulations
There are plans to develop a new urban area in Wisbech with approximately 10,000 homes. However, the proposed new area is situated in a flood-prone zone with strict building regulations.

Permission is given only for a sustainable, innovative approach. With this ambition, Wisbech turned to the Netherlands to jointly explore possible flood reduction solutions.

dws-deltares-wisbech-floods-2014-350pxWisbech is regularly hit by floods. Here seen in August 2014.

Inspirational design
The UK faces a major national housing shortage. However, in flood-risk areas, housing construction has been seriously discouraged since 2000.

The UK experiences floods on a regular basis, and at high-risk areas measures are taken. However, situations are often complex which makes it necessary to take multiple interests into account.

As a result, flood prevention projects are frequently delayed and there is a risk of support being eroded because of overly technocratic solutions.

By using the Trico-method, it is expected to able to avoid these delays by starting with an inspirational design that includes all aspects.

This news item was originally published on the website of Deltares.

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● Expertise: Resilient cities
● Country: UK

More information
Delft, the Netherlands
+31 88 335 8273

Royal HaskoningDHV
Amersfoort, the Netherlands
+ 31 88 348 20 26

Nelen & Schuurmans
Uttrecht, the Netherlands
+31 30 233 02 00