6th March 2023
The resilience scheme from Living with Water and Stantec has picked up the Sir John Fowler Award for studies and research.
The Hull and Haltemprice Blue Green Plan, which outlines how waterways and vegetated infrastructure can improve flood resilience and liveability in Hull and Haltemprice, has taken home the Sir John Fowler Award at this year’s ICE Yorkshire and Humber Awards.
The category recognises exceptional projects centered around studies or research. The plan aims to reduce the likelihood of around 14,000 properties flooding over the next 60 years and bring more than £2.6 billion of economic benefits to the community.
The plan is being delivered by Living with Water. The unique voluntary partnership includes Yorkshire Water, Hull City Council, East Riding of Yorkshire Council, the Environment Agency, and the University of Hull. Stantec, a global leader in sustainable design and engineering, was brought onboard to support the design of the plan.
Hull and Haltemprice are set within a bowl-shaped zone with sloping topography leading to a flat, urban area. This basin-like landscape causes rainwater to collect, triggering regular flooding. Since devastating floods in 2007, there has been significant investment to reduce these incidents. However, to create true flood resilience and prepare and adapt to climate change, a collaborative, long-term vision was required.
The plan required comprehensive consultation to get an accurate picture of the current and future needs of the community. This involved collaboration between The Environment Agency, local councils, community members, Yorkshire Water, academics, and experts across a wide variety of specialisms. The Stantec team supported the research phase, employing a range of digital engagement and analysis tools and technology.
Information was collated and used to model different rainfall events and their implications until the year 2080 and identify a variety of natural blue-green infrastructure solutions. These included blue-green corridors, new rain gardens, tree canopy layers, SuDS (sustainable drainage systems) and green roofs throughout the region.
The judges were impressed with this project demonstrating the collaborative approach to identify sustainable flooding solutions, and a plan that will enhance biodiversity and be carbon neutral. Living with Water’s, general manager Lee Pitcher, “Many people are afraid of uncertainty and change. Yet, change is exactly what is required right now if we are to adapt to what climate change is throwing at us.
“Sometimes you have to just seize the here and now to create a better day for tomorrow. That's the leadership that we've seen recognized with this prestigious award. A plan provides certainty and hope. Even better that this plan is about longer-term sustainability too. Its brilliant recognition for the individuals and team that has made this happen."
Ross Anderson, Operations Director, Water, Stantec commented: “This is a fantastic achievement for the whole project team who have worked closely with all stakeholders to create an innovative and robust blue-green plan.
“The way we use and interact with water is changing, and the earlier we can future-proof our urban areas against the risks of flooding and drought, the better. Through the implementation of this plan, we can make sure we decrease flood risks, while enabling sustainable and healthy lifestyles and providing attractive places in Hull and Haltemprice for people to live and work.”
Sir John Fowler was a prominent civil engineer and worked on the first London Underground railway. The award which is a section of railway was inscribed with the words: “The workings of great civil engineers enabled the modern world we live in and today the winners of this award can count themselves amongst these greats.”
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