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Resilient responses to reverse the effects of urban flooding

  • by JW

The Neighbourhood Plan is made:

Sidmouth (made)

… together with the excellent Place Analysis which goes deeper into the layout and design of the Valley’s built and natural environment:

Sid Valley Place Analysis


The question remains how to deliver the policies and actions…



For example, we need to look to how to alleviate flooding – both from inland and the sea, as looked at on these news pages:

Flooding issues in Sidmouth

In the Knowle Park, there are plans afoot:

Knowle relocation project: flooding attenuation

Sidmouth homes to be protected from flooding

And there are plans to protect the seafront:

Beach Management Plan: “a splash barrier could actually enhance the seafront”

Raising the splash wall on Sidmouth’s Esplanade ‘would be ghastly’

However, much of this infrastructure is often extremely over-engineered:

Unsustainable over-development in East Devon

Flooding and development in East Devon

And perhaps some alternative approaches would work:

On the River Otter: successful rewilding of the beaver


As covered in the Arch Daily, there are some very clever, less invasive and greener solutions being implemented:

There is a duty on architects, planners, and urbanists to plan and construct resilient responses that can slow, and even reverse, the effects of urban flooding. 

How Cities are Using Architecture to Combat Flooding |


With one particular example happening in Copenhagen – with ‘climate tiles’:

Climate Tile Designed to Catch and Redirect Excess Rainwater From Climate Change |


The architecture practice is THIRD NATURE – and here is its climate tile project:

copyright: CLIMATE TILE |


And here is their founder doing a TED Talk:

As founder and partner in the Danish architecture firm, TREDJE NATUR, Flemming Rafn Thomsen has co-articulated a new vision for our future urban living in a time with drastic climate changes.

According to Rafn Thomsen, the global challenges related to climate changes and our demand for the creation and expansion of cities do not call for two different answers, but rather for the same solution.

Climate change is both a blessing and a wake-up call as it is mobilizing an understanding that our lifestyle is resulting in uncorrectable damage to our environment.

At the same time, the growing density of the cities is creating new dreams of a different urban community for it surround residents. It is these two factors that Tredje Natur is mixing in their architectural work and mission.

They are advocating a new way of architecture, where cities and its human life are made part of curated and meaningful urban nature.

City and country come together in a “third nature” where the classic contradictions between city/nature, transportation/recreation, visible/invisible, their/ours and problem/resource are dissolved and new urban communities created.

Third nature: Flemming Rafn Thomsen at TEDxCopenhagenSalon |