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Flood, Vulnerability and Urban Resilience: A real-time study of local recovery following the floods of June 2007 in Hull, 2007- 2009 (Hull Floods Project)



This is a qualitative data collection. The research used diaries, semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions of householders, floodworkers and other affected stakeholders and followed the recovery experiences of people across Hull after the floods of June 2007 which affected over 8,600 households across the city.

The project undertook a real-time longitudinal study to document and understand the everyday experiences of individuals following the floods of June 2007 in interaction with networks of actors and organisations, strategies of institutional support and investment in the built environment and infrastructure. The research aimed (i) to identify and document key dimensions of the longer term experience of flood impact and flood recovery, including health, economic and social aspects, (ii) to examine how resilience and vulnerability were manifest in the interaction between everyday strategies of adaptation during the flood recovery process, and modes of institutional support and the management of infrastructure and the built environment, (iii) to explore to what extent the recovery process entailed the development of new forms of resilience and to identify the implications for developing local level resilience for flood recovery in the future, and (iv) to develop an archive that will be accessible for future research into other aspects of flood recovery.

The findings showed flood recovery to be a long and difficult process with no clear beginning or end. Far from being an incremental, linear process, respondents’ recovery is punctuated by ‘highs’ and ‘lows’ which are closely tied to other pressures and life events. Recovery is not complete when people move ‘back home’, as aspects of daily life are shown to have fundamentally changed – both for better and for worse. Many of the difficulties experienced by residents result from the existence of a ‘recovery gap’. This emerges as the legally-defined contingency arrangements provided to the community by its local authority diminish and the less well-defined services provided by the non-statutory/private sector e.g. insurance, builders start. The nature of this gap means that residents receive little support during this time and, as a result, they must attempt to coordinate the actions of the different organizations involved. Such ‘project management’ is time-consuming, exhausting and stressful as it requires residents to acquire new skills, challenge ‘expert’ judgements and engage in new kinds of physical, mental and emotional work. By suggesting ways in which residents can be better supported, the research is of direct practical relevance for organizations involved in recovery and the building of resilience.
Date made available9/04/2019
PublisherLancaster University
Temporal coverage1/10/2007 - 30/04/2009
Date of data production1/10/2007 - 30/04/2009
Geographical coverageKingston-upon-Hull, England

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