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The blue-green path to urban flood resilience

O'Donnell, Emily; Arthur, Scott; Birkinshaw, Stephen; Butler, David; Dawson, David; Everett, Glyn; Fenner, Richard; Glenis, Vassilis; Kapetas, Leon; Kilsby, Chris; Krivtsov, Vladimir; Lamond, Jessica; Maskrey, Shaun; O'Donnell, Greg; Potter, Karen; Sangaralingam, Ahilan; Thorne, Colin; Vilcan, Tudorel; Vercruysse, Kim; Wright, Nigel


Emily O'Donnell

Scott Arthur

Stephen Birkinshaw

David Butler

David Dawson

Richard Fenner

Vassilis Glenis

Leon Kapetas

Chris Kilsby

Vladimir Krivtsov

Jessica Lamond
Professor in Real Estate and Flood Risk Management

Shaun Maskrey

Greg O'Donnell

Karen Potter

Ahilan Sangaralingam

Colin Thorne

Tudorel Vilcan

Kim Vercruysse

Nigel Wright


Achieving urban flood resilience at local, regional and national levels requires a transformative change in planning, design and implementation of urban water systems. Flood risk, wastewater and stormwater management should be re-envisaged and transformed to: ensure satisfactory service delivery under flood, normal and drought conditions, and enhance and extend the useful lives of ageing grey assets by supplementing them with multi-functional Blue-Green infrastructure. The aim of the multidisciplinary Urban Flood Resilience (UFR) research project, which launched in 2016 and comprises academics from nine UK institutions, is to investigate how transformative change may be possible through a whole systems approach. UFR research outputs to date are summarised under three themes. Theme 1 investigates how Blue-Green and Grey (BG+G) systems can be co-optimised to offer maximum flood risk reduction, continuous service delivery and multiple co-benefits. Theme 2 investigates the resource capacity of urban stormwater and evaluates the potential for interoperability. Theme 3 focuses on the interfaces between planners, developers, engineers and beneficiary communities and investigates citizens’ interactions with BG+G infrastructure. Focussing on retrofit and new build case studies, UFR research demonstrates how urban flood resilience may be achieved through changes in planning, practice and policy to enable widespread uptake of BG+G infrastructure.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 1, 2020
Journal Blue-Green Systems
Electronic ISSN 2617-4782
Publisher IWA Publishing
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 2
Issue 1
Pages 28-45
APA6 Citation O'Donnell, E., Arthur, S., Birkinshaw, S., Butler, D., Dawson, D., Everett, G., …Wright, N. (2020). The blue-green path to urban flood resilience. Blue-Green Systems, 2(1), 28-45.
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Copyright Statement
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence (CC BY 4.0), which permits copying, adaptation and redistribution, provided the original work is properly cited (

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