How to prevent flooding competition

This imaginative competition used film to challenge traditional attitudes to flood prevention, showing how water could benefit communities and enhance natural landscapes.

The focus of the competition was to come up with innovative ideas around flooding resilience and prevention. Entries focused on flooding alleviation in different parts of the world, showcasing alternatives to traditional flood prevention methods.

New ideas for flood prevention

The gallery below uses clips from the shortlisted films to showcase new approaches to living with water in our cities, coastal communities and homes.

Living with the sea

Living with the sea

First prize winner Anäis Chanon imagines flood dykes shaped like barrier reefs, which lead onto eco museums, salt marshes and spectacular fish restaurants in her film, ‘Living with the sea’.

Noirmouter now and in 2080

Noirmouter now and in 2080

In the winning film ‘Living with the Sea’, a future Noirmouter uses natural sand barriers as alternative to concrete dykes.

Living with the sea

Living with the sea

By 2080, Noirmouter’s innovative ways of adapting to rising sea levels make the island famous to people across the world. © Anais Chanon.

Celebrating water in the city

Celebrating water in the city

Innovative river drainage schemes bring new life to Sheffield in Sarah Barker and Lizzie Griffin’s film ‘Celebrating water in the city’.

Room 60, 'How to prevent flooding'

Room 60, 'How to prevent flooding'

Ideas for how we can help prevent flooding at home. Source: Room60's 'How to prevent flooding: instructional ideas film'

Flooding a bigger picture

Flooding a bigger picture

'Flooding: a bigger picture’ by Ms Deepthi C B & Ms Hina Bajaj offers creative solutions for how flooding structures can be integrated with the natural landscape.

From the film 'Water Boulevards'

From the film 'Water Boulevards'

Image from the shortlisted film, 'Water Boulevards', showing the local community living by the sea. © Baharash Bagherian

Underground Taming of Floods

Underground Taming of Floods

A future model for underground draining systems in the shortlisted film, ‘Underground Taming of Floods’. © International Water Management Institute

Transition to a coastal landscape

Transition to a coastal landscape

Adapting house design to accommodate rising sea levels in ‘Transition to a coastal landscape: designing a flood resilient coastal settlement in Par Docks, Cornwall’, also shortlisted in the competition.

Shortlisted films

Eight films were shortlisted in the competition. The films showcased innovative ideas for how flooding schemes could be integrated with local communities and landscapes.

Living with the Sea by Anaïs Chanon

First prize: Anäis Chanon – ‘Living with Sea’

The winning film from Glasgow-based artist Anäis Chanon is set in Noirmouter, an island off the coast of Brittany which is under threat from rising sea levels. Looking ahead to 2080, the film imagines the island community living in harmony with the sea. Replacing the council’s plan for defensive flood dykes are eco museums, spectacular salt marshes and delicious fish restaurants for the community to enjoy.

Speaking about the film Anäis Chanon 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.”

Anäis developed the film in 2014 during her final year as a landscape architecture student in Versailles. She was awarded £2,000 for winning first prize.

Celebrating Water in the City

Second prize 'Celebrating Water in the City' by Lizzie Griffin and Sarah Baker

Sarah Barker and Lizzie Griffin took second place for their film showing how neglected and inaccessible flood mitigation areas could be transformed into attractive natural spaces for city residents to enjoy. ‘Celebrating Water in the city’ traces the Porter Brooks river from the Peak District national park to Sheffield City centre.

The film explores hidden urban wetlands, woodland havens and recreation areas that will encourage tourism and community living.

Filmakers Sarah Barker and Lizzie Griffin were awarded £1,000 for winning second prize.

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How to Prevent Flooding  Film Ideas Competition: Flooding - A Bigger Picture

‘Flooding: a bigger picture’ by Ms Deepthi C B and Ms Hina Bajaj

‘Flooding: a bigger picture’ was shortlisted as a runner up in the competition. Tackling the issue of urban flooding worldwide, the film focuses on south India, using the concept of landscape urbanism to show us how flooding defense systems can be integrated with the surrounding landscape.

In a series of visual sketches, the film explains how careful and sensitive landscape design can mitigate the consequences of urban flooding.

Ms Deepthi and Ms Bajaj were awarded a second prize of £500.

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How to prevent flooding: an instructional ideas film by Room60

‘How to prevent flooding: instructional ideas film’ by Room60

Room60’s film consisted of six short visual segments, each featuring everyday ideas for community flooding prevention, that were designed to be shared via Vine and Twitter, promoting awareness around flooding prevention. These included everyday ideas for how ordinary households could practice simple measures that contribute to flooding prevention in their homes and local towns.

Room60 were awarded £500 for their runner up prize in the completion.

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Water Boulevards by Baharash Architecture

'Water boulevards' by Baharash Begharian

Baharash Begharian’s uplifting animation ‘Water Boulevards’ suggests using water boulevards to tackle urban flooding while creating attractive living spaces. The film details how water boulevards could be part of an urban drainage system that runs underneath our cities.

The water boulevards are shown to offer community benefits: creating a greener transport network, encouraging local tourism and job opportunities, and reducing crime and anti-social behavior.

The film was one of the eight films to be shortlisted in the competition.

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I-ngress: working together to alleviate flooding

'I-ngress – working together to alleviate flooding’ by Atkins

This upbeat animation follows narrator Mike, who explains how everyday technology can be used to prevent and report flooding. He shows us how to use the I-ngress app, where anyone can report and monitor environmental information on flooding and environmental issues such as pollution and severe weather conditions. Mike explains how using the app in this way fosters better connections between people and their local environments.

Transition to a Coastal Artas-ua.info

‘Transition to a coastal landscape’ by E Barsley

This thought-provoking film by Edward Barsley focuses on the coastal area of Par Docks in Cornwall, which is at risk from rising sea levels. The film challenges the conventional approach to coastal flooding, instead offering a reversible and long-term solution for how the community can live closer to the sea.

The film was one of the eight shortlisted films in the competition. Edward Barsley designed created the film while studying at the University of Cambridge.

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Underground Taming of Floods for Irrigation (UTFI)

‘Underground taming of floods for irrigation’ by the International Water Management Iinstitute

This visually striking film explores the benefits of underground taming of floods for irrigation (UTFI), which is currently being used around the Ganges in South East Asia. The UTFI technique involves draining and moving water between different areas to accommodate flooding risk. The film explains how it can bring together technology, people and the natural environment.

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Competition details

The LI ran the competition with organisations from the Inter-Institutional Flooding Group, including the Institution of Civil Engineers, Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Management, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and Royal Town Planning Institute. The competition was also supported by RIBA and the Building Centre.