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Public perceptions of sustainable drainage devices

Everett, Glyn



Susanne Charlesworth


This chapter considers the centrality of human perceptions, and so behaviour, to the sustainability of SuDS. Research shows a lack of engagement with flood preparedness and flood risk mitigation (FRM) in the public as a whole, and many people are averse to installing defences because of the clear acknowledgement of risk they represent. It is posited that sustainable approaches to FRM may represent a way around this seeming impasse, green spaces less self-evidently symbolising flood risk management techniques and further being generally favoured within neighbourhoods.

Portland, Oregon is considered as a case study, demonstrating the positive potentialities of sustainable FRM techniques, but also the importance of working with communities to ensure good understanding of the devices’ nature, purpose and appropriate behaviour regarding them. A dialogic co-construction approach between experts and publics is advocated as the best way to ensure appropriate behaviour that will encourage the sustainability of SuDS devices.

Publication Date Jan 1, 2016
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Pages 285-298
Book Title Sustainable Surface Water Management: A Handbook for SuDS
ISBN 9781118897706
APA6 Citation Everett, G. (2016). Public perceptions of sustainable drainage devices. In C. Booth, & S. Charlesworth (Eds.), Sustainable Surface Water Management: A Handbook for SuDS, 285-298. Wiley
Keywords SuDS, sustainability, human perceptions, human behaviour, co-construction, lay knowledge, bioswales, Portland, Oregon
Publisher URL