How to Prevent Flooding – Film Competition

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Image: Anäis Chanon, ‘Living with the sea’

Why do we keep spending money putting homes and lives back together when we could spend it more effectively preventing the problem? The Landscape Institute’s recent short film competition aimed to stimulate debate, and discover ideas about how to prevent flooding.  Entrants were asked to consider how solutions can be found to avoid or address flooding, by incorporating approaches to resilience into proposals.

In February the Thames Barrier was closed on a record 20 occasions due to high fluvial floods. At the same time, many other parts of the UK were affected by high levels of flooding. There has never been a more important time to address the challenges of water shortage, flooding and pollution.  Professionals in many disciplines are engaged in looking at the ways in which the country manages, stores and distributes its water, and how we plan both the natural and the built environment to make our towns, cities and rural areas more resilient.  Concerns include catchment management issues; how forestry, land management and soft engineered flood alleviation schemes can hold back water in the upper reaches of rivers; and how this works alongside dredging and the delivery of sustainable river management and flood defences in the lower reaches and around our coastlines.

Six professional bodies, all of whom are members of the Inter Institutional Flooding Group (IIFG), and The Building Centre teamed up to call for fresh thinking on ways of making flood affected areas more resilient. This competition was hosted by the IIFG and run by the Landscape Institute.

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Image: Anäis Chanon, ‘Living with the sea’

The winners of the LI’s flooding film competition were announced at Ecobuild this week. First prize went to Anäis Chanon, a landscape architect from Glasgow, for her film ‘Living with the sea’.

It shows a project that she  developed in 2014, during her final year as a student of landscape architecture in Versailles, France. It consisted of a counter-proposal to the local council’s costly and unsustainable plan to considerably raise the height of dykes around the island of Noirmoutier.

Coastal spaces all around the world are rapidly metamorphosing due to rising sea levels.
Upon meeting the people of Noirmoutier and hearing of their fear concerning the possible loss of their island,’  Anäis said, ‘I realised that flood management was both an economic and an ecological issue. But, perhaps most importantly, it was also a powerful social question.’  Watch the film here.

By using fiction as a way of communication, this short film narrates an ideal vision of Noirmoutier in 2080. It aims to promote flexible and creative solutions to flooding and invites people to engage with collective problem solving.

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Room60’s ‘instructional ideas film’

There were also two runners-up. One is ‘How to prevent flooding – an instructional ideas film’ by Matt Parker of Room60 – alumni and past teaching staff at Kingston University Landscape Architecture. Intentionally short, it is intended to be shortened further into six-second segments that can be shared on Vine and Twitter. The aim is to put together a simple ten-point plan of what can be done by those at all levels of society and professional status to prevent flooding across the board.

Watch the film here.

For full details on all winners read here.

Text: Landscape Institute

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