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Key points in this POSTnote include:

  • Extreme rainfall events are predicted to become more frequent and severe in the future as the climate changes.
  • Existing urban defences and drainage infrastructure cannot cope with increasingly extreme events, but urban areas can be adapted to reduce vulnerabilities to flooding.
  • There is no single solution to manage urban flood risks: a portfolio of solutions will be needed that include traditional flood defences but also flood resilience measures.
  • Urban drainage systems that mimic a natural landscape can reduce surface flooding and provide other benefits.


POSTnotes are based on literature reviews and interviews with a range of stakeholders and are externally peer reviewed. POST would like to thank interviewees and peer reviewers for kindly giving up their time during the preparation of this briefing, including:

  • Adam Cambridge, Atkins*
  • Professor David Balmforth, MWH*
  • Stephen Wielebski, HBF*
  • Manuela Escarameia, HR Wallingford*
  • Andy Tagg, HR Wallingford*
  • Bridget Woods-Ballard, HR Wallingford*
  • Hugh Ellis, Town and Country Planning Association
  • Bob Vaughan, Natural Resources Wales*
  • Paul Shaffer, CIRIA
  • Professor Chris Kilsby, Newcastle University
  • Professor Richard Dawson, Newcastle University*
  • Professor Richard Ashley, University of Sheffield
  • Professor Roger Falconer, Cardiff University
  • Stacy Sharman, Defra*
  • Kirsten Thorburn, SEPA
  • Andrew J Eden, Environment Agency*
  • Ruth M Allin, Environment Agency*
  • Dr Stephen Garvin, BRE
  • Laura Hughes, Association of British Insurers

*Denotes people who acted as external reviewers of the briefing.

Documents to download

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