FloodProBE are partners in FLOODrisk2012

Grant Agreement No:243401

In the News

FloodProBE Pilot Sites - An Introduction - 01 February 2012

Over the next 2 months we will be publishing a number of articles relating to our pilot site projects. Each week a new pilot site will be presented through our news pages with a monthly summary newsletter being sent to all subscribed members. More information about pilot sites and why they are useful for the FloodProBE project, can be found below in this introduction article.

The FloodProBE research programme includes seven pilot studies which have been established across Europe. These include locations in Orleans (France), Prague (Czech Republic), Hull/Humber & Gloucester (UK), Trondheim (Norway) and Dordrecht and Rotterdam (Netherlands).

Each of the pilot sites represents flood risk areas with specific local problems and issues that are relevant to the research programme within FloodProBE and hence are used interactively within the project. Working with pilot sites in this way helps to ensure that the FloodProBE research programme remains focussed on real problems and issues; at the same time the research can directly help to solve some of the local issues at the pilot sites.

The focus of work at each pilot site, and in some cases the sites themselves, have changed and evolved as the project has progressed. This is part of the process of ensuring that the research addresses the real needs at the site, and the site needs fit with the overall goals of the research.

The seven pilot sites, each with a different focus, now comprise:


  1. Prague (Czech Republic):Prague is the capital of the Czech Republic with about 1.5 million inhabitants located across the river Vltava (Moldava). In 2002, Prague suffered significant damage from the worst floods to hit the city in 200 years. Subsequently, several kinds of local flood protection measures in Prague including lines of mobile barriers, which are used uniformly on the entire area of Prague, primarily in the historic urban centre. The total length of these mobile barriers is about 7 km in Prague. The dam bar system was created by the firm Eko-System and was finished only 5 months before the flood in 2002. If a flood is announced in time, appropriate precautions can be taken. There is planned every year training for the correct installation of the mobile barriers in case of a flood.
  2. Orleans (France): The City of Orleans sits adjacent to the River Loire. Due to the extent of the Loire flood plain the city has established Flood Risk Management as one of its top priorities. Today, Orleans is committed to reducing its vulnerability to flooding by taking new adaptive approaches to sustainable flood risk management and flood risk management planning. This has included information campaigns to raise awareness on flood risk. The City is also putting in place rescue and recovery plans for the population and public services. The aim is to minimise potential flood damage and to enable the City to recover as quickly as possible after a flood event.
  3. Trondheim (Norway):Trondheim Municipality is situated in central Norway on the Trondheim Fjord, 70 km away from the open sea, in TrÝndelag County. Periods a heavy rainfall can have disastrous consequences for the city with flooding from any or each of the River Nidelva, the sea (Trondheim fjord) and the urban drainage system. A three-stage approach comprising a risk and vulnerability assessment, GIS-based analysis and ID model simulations, is being undertaken to assess flood risk for a selected area within Trondheim.
  4. Dordrecht (Netherlands):The City of Dordrecht is developing a Multi Level Safety approach to new developments. This includes both flood protection measures (e.g. overflowable defences) and prevention / preparedness measures such as smart shelters, resilient critical infrastructure and hotspot buildings within a large waterfront development area.
  5. Rotterdam (Netherlands):Rotterdam-The Hague Airport could be transformed to be the world's first Emergency Airport as a part of a Multi Level Safety approach in the Netherlands. The airport site sits just above extreme flood levels within the polder. Secondary flood risk prevention and preparedness measures form part of an integrated development plan for the airport.
  6. Hull / Humber (UK):The Humber estuary is very dynamic with a tidal range of up to six metres near the mouth. The foreshores are eroding and threatening flood defences in places, particularly along the Immingham frontage, near Winteringham and in the tributary rivers where regular works are needed to protect the banks. Research into the performance of flood embankments relating to processes such as internal erosion, structure transitions and the performance of grass cover are relevant here.
  7. Gloucester (UK):In the summer of 2007 Gloucestershire suffered one of the worst emergencies ever seen in the county due to extensive flooding from both surface water overloading the drainage systems and very high water levels in main rivers and brooks. On 20th July, two months' rain fell in just 14 hours resulting in two emergencies-widespread flooding and drinking water shortages affecting 350,000 people. Electricity supply networks were also threatened. It is estimated that the flooding and water crisis cost the county of Gloucestershire £50 million. The Gloucester study is now included in the project as a case study.


It should be recognised that no single pilot study links with the entire project research programme, in the same way that no one location would typically suffer from all flood risk issues (including both flood defence and urban resilience). Each pilot focuses upon different aspects of the FloodProBe research.