A vital part of the project is working with and consulting local communities, businesses and organisations. Your views are important. At various points in the project there have been public consultations, providing everyone with a chance to have their say. We will also be meeting with communities and businesses throughout the process.
Flipside Festival were commissioned by the Lowestoft Flood Risk Management Project to work with the community to produce a lasting legacy for the flood walls that will help to protect Lowestoft from flooding from the sea.
The Watertight Words project was established by Flipside Festival and has seen over one thousand primary and secondary school children engaged, as well as many other community groups in Lowestoft, with the involvement in the work to understand and reduce flood risk in Lowestoft. The Watertight Words workshops used audio and visual materials to explore, through language and poetry, people’s reactions to the sea, it’s history of flooding and what the building of the new flood wall will mean. These words have been brought together by the poet Dean Parkin and the art installation is by Gary Breeze.
These installations can be seen in various locations around the town and will be permanently engraved on to the glass sections of the sea wall. If you visit Lowestoft you will see many others filling boardings and other spaces in Lowestoft.
Alongside this and as part of our commitment to working with schools, the project hosted the National Schools Takeover day on 17th November 2017, working with Waveney Youth Council. Schools came together to present ideas for a social and digital media initiative. Their efforts were judged by a panel and the winning school, Ormiston Denes Academy, was awarded £2,500 for filming equipment to produce materials to support project engagement.
The Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance (ZFRA), partnering with the London School of Economics (LSE), has been implementing a tool to measure the resilience communities to flooding across the world. East Suffolk Council, working through Coastal Partnership East, are delighted to be collaborating with ZFRA and London School of Economics (LSE) on the first UK pilot in Lowestoft.
ZFRA is a multi-sectoral partnership focusing on finding practical ways to help communities strengthen their resilience to flooding. Their vision is to empower local communities to be resilient and to ensure floods have no negative impact on people and businesses' ability to thrive. Find out more about ZFRA.
The Flood Resilience Measurement for Communities (FRMC) tool, developed by ZFRA, has successfully been implemented in nine countries and 110 communities in the first phase of the project (2013-2018) and we are keen to know if it can help us here. We are working with different communities including households, businesses, community leaders and risk management authorities on gathering data, which will show us how resilient Lowestoft is now. The communities' knowledge is key in this project to unlocking a brighter, more resilient future for Lowestoft.
The project will provide evidence to increase our knowledge and support resilience-building programmes and activities in Lowestoft. Measuring how resilient a community is to flooding helps us to find out what might be needed to help now and in the future and could unlock potential for economic regeneration and development, improving the quality of life for all those who live and work there.