New STAR-FLOOD Project creates a shining example of international collaboration


STAR-FLOOD stands for “Strengthening And Redesigning European FLOOD risk practices: Towards appropriate and resilient flood risk governance arrangements”.  It is a research project funded by the European Union from October 2012 until March 2016; and involves collaboration between academics and practitioners in six European countries. The project is focused on analysing, explaining, evaluating and designing policies to better deal with flood risks from rivers in urban agglomerations across Europe.

To deal with these risks, many European countries currently focus on building, reinforcing and maintaining flood defence works. STAR-FLOOD takes as its starting point that such a focus is necessary, but not sufficient in order to ensure sustained flood protection. From a resilience point of view, the strategy should be broadened with pro-active spatial planning, building prescriptions, warning systems, evacuation- and recovery plans.

The core of the project involves the study and collation of flood risk governance arrangements in each of the countries involved. These allow for the comparison between countries and to finally enable identification of design principles for good flood risk governance across Europe. Within the UK this information was collected through National and Case study level interviews of key stakeholders in England by researchers at the Flood Hazard Research Centre at Middlesex University. Case study locations include Kingston-upon-Hull, the Lower Thames and Leeds.

The interview stage will be completed in early 2015, followed by the dissemination of results to the parties involved. In the next few months this will be achieved through targeted national and international project workshops and feedback sessions with the key parties, in addition to selected key practitioners. The outputs from these sessions aim to be presented in reviewed journals and will provide valuable and interesting information to anyone involved in global flood risk policy. Grontmij are involved in the knowledge dissemination and networking of the project, with the aim of connecting the research to policymakers and other stakeholders in order to build receptivity and realise an impact on flood risk management policy and practice.

The results of this ambitious project are expected to be highly relevant for policies and law at the European, national and regional level and for the development of public-private partnerships.

The STAR-FLOOD team would like to encourage anyone working in related fields to visit our website for the latest newsletter and project details. You can also contact the team:

Dr Sally Priest (Middlesex University)

Dr Doug Lewis (Grontmij)