Manchester events, 2016

Success! Downpour took place on October 29th at the Manchester Science Festival and November 5th at the Festival of Social Science (ESRC) and it was absolutely brilliant! There was tension, laughter, rain, sunshine (which was pleasant even if not entirely topical) and most of the teams managed to save the city from the catastrophic downpour. Over the 2 days, we had 118 participants, two thirds of whom said they learnt something new about flooding, from the role of the uplands to the complexity of political decision-making, which we are very happy about.

And this is what some of the players said about Downpour:

“Thanks for such a creative, thought-provoking and adrenaline-pumping event. Who knew saving Manchester could be so much fun!” Eliza Chan

“It was great! Thoroughly stimulating throughout.” Phil Hardy

Thank you to everyone who took part, to our amazing actors and volunteers and to the funders that supported us and made it possible (namely Arts Council England, the University of Manchester, the Manchester Science Festival and the Festival of Social Science).

We’re working hard on planning more dates for Downpour for 2017, so keep checking this space for news and updates!


Why are we STILL building houses on flood plains?

With the rainy season on our doorstep, we woke up today to find this alarming article in the Yorkshire post: Why are we STILL building houses on flood plains?

It starts off saying:

Hundreds of new homes across the country were given the green light in the past few years despite official warnings they will be at risk of flooding, new figures suggest.

Why are we not learning from our mistakes? Why is it even possible and legal to buy and build over flood plains? Rain isn’t going to decrease in the UK and with climate change unpredictable and extreme weather events are only going to become more frequent, and I am full of sorrow for all those people that once again will become flood victims in the coming Winter…

Full article here:

Not just the UK

Flood frequency and devastation isn’t going up just in the UK.

Louisiana has been underwater this summer and although events might seem unconnected, they are all symptoms of the same disease: climate change.

Climate change is making 1000 year floods like Louisianas more and more common

This article explains concisely how unpredictable weather events are connected to climate change and how some of states are already home to the first climate refugees.

The floods in Louisiana follow other recent deadly floods in Maryland, Oklahoma, Texas, South Carolina, and West Virginia. In Louisiana, which is particularly vulnerable, it raises questions about how parts of the state can stay habitable—and how to build cities if historic storms start to become more normal.

Aerial view from the 2016 Louisiana flood