Working in partnership
In 2013, Hull City Council launched the City Plan for Hull – a 10-year regeneration strategy which set out to transform the city physically, culturally and reputationally. Since then, Hull has hit the national and international stage as UK City of Culture 2017 and has seen investment of more than £3 billion from the public and private sectors.
Yet, despite this renaissance, the city’s surrounding geography and the challenges of climate change mean that, outside of London, Hull remains the most at-risk city from flooding in the UK.
Since the floods of 2007, Hull City Council, Yorkshire Water, the Environment Agency and East Riding of Yorkshire Council, working both independently and in partnership, have invested significantly in the catchment. Yorkshire Water alone has invested more than £40m on the pumping stations that help to protect the city, including the construction of the new Bransholme surface water pumping station which opened in 2016. But, even with this investment, managing water effectively remains a challenge that must be faced to continue to progress towards the vision set out in the City Plan.
In 2016 Yorkshire Water published “Water Culture” a document which set out to catalyse a discussion about an innovative water resilient future for Hull and the East Riding. The document invited “an exploration of how a shared vision might be achieved in partnership and how the water environment can play a key role in the culture and success of the city”.
From the discussions prompted by Water Culture, the Living with Water partnership was established which brings together Yorkshire Water, Hull City Council, East Riding of Yorkshire Council and the Environment Agency with a joint vision to make the Hull and Haltemprice area an international exemplar for living in harmony with water.
In September 2017, the partnership brought local stakeholders together with national and international experts for a two-day charrette to explore this vision and set out an ambitious plan for the future. Working together, the partners are now developing innovative solutions to reduce flood risk in the catchment using a jointly owned, integrated flood model.
As these solutions are developed the partnership will be working with local communities through further charrettes to ensure they meet the needs of local people, as well as contributing to the overall vision for the city. To inform the long-term approach the partnership will be one of only five cities around the globe to develop and pilot a new City Water Resilience Index working with The Rockefeller Foundation.
Find out more at www.livingwithwater.co.uk