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1 December 2016

Understanding the impact of flooding on road infrastructure in Greater Manchester

Greater Manchester (GM) and The University of Manchester have been working apace on the GM RESIN case study. Our aim is to support the development and implementation of climate change adaptation strategies and actions in order to further the goal of building the climate resilience of GM’s urban system.

Ultimately, the GM RESIN case study will result in a climate change risk assessment of GM’s urban critical infrastructure and the identification and prioritisation of adaptation options to prominent climate risks to GM’s urban critical infrastructure.

Key to understanding the climate change risk to GM’s critical infrastructure is through the preparation of impact chains to improve the understanding and assessment of, and response to, extreme weather and climate risks. Impact chains identify cause-effect relationships between the elements that determine risk from extreme weather and climate change. This work – led by Fraunhofer IAIS in Work Package 2 – is new territory for those of us working on climate change adaptation and resilience in GM.

On November 17th, we were delighted to welcome Fraunhofer IAIS, a leading scientific institute specializing in applied research into intelligent data and knowledge analysis, to the city of Manchester to work with our stakeholders to produce an impact chain through an interactive workshop. As the project initially selected two impact chains to work on where are pluvial flooding and road infrastructure; and heatwaves and water scarcity with green infrastructure, the workshop focussed on the impacts of pluvial flooding to a major arterial road. It was a great benefit that our invited stakeholders work on diverse areas including transport, urban resilience, flood risk management and the natural environment and were able to share their knowledge and experience.

We viewed this as an experimental workshop to shape an inclusive process towards the development of impact chains. Armed with paper and post-it notes, participants were provided with a potential pluvial flood scenario that was loosely based on recent events that have been experienced in GM. The learning from the day will be taken through when developing our second impact chain workshop which will assess the impacts of heatwaves and water scarcity on green infrastructure.