Since 2004 Defra's Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Strategy has been promoting the idea of 'making space for water' in the environment and has made significant advances in many areas through its programme of work in promoting sustainable approaches and adaptation. Blue corridors form part of this approach - urban development is set back from watercourses, overland flow paths and ponding areas creating a mosaic of urban corridors designed to facilitate natural hydrological processes whilst minimising urban flooding, enhancing biodiversity and improving access to recreation. The establishment of such corridors will help relieve the pressure of flooding on upstream and downstream communities and make flood protection options within the urban area more resilient and flexible. They also contribute to networks of green infrastructure, which act as the life support systems for cities, towns and rural areas and provide a range of environmental, social and economic benefits.
The vision for blue corridors is becoming an established concept however its implementation within the spatial planning system is relatively poorly understood. In order to make blue corridors a reality there needs to be a more co-ordinated long term and holistic approach to developing urban blue corridors however, at present, there is no clear understanding of the precise mechanism and actions that are needed to achieve this.
The aim of this project is to scope the opportunities, barriers and drivers toward establishing multi-purpose urban blue corridors, and begin to build the necessary evidence base for achieving this.
The project will scope the existing evidence and knowledge, identify gaps, and develop a high level road map for implementation, by undertaking research to understand the incentives, barriers, opportunities, practicalities, benefits and costs of embedding and building blue corridors in the urban landscape.