Panoramic view of overtopping on coastal areas with house and train railway tracks

Resilience to flooding

Our expertise in flood resilience is helping to protect people, communities, and infrastructure across the world. We help clients to develop resilient approaches for all phases of flooding: before, during and after. 

Delivering resilience means using a broad range of measures and dynamic decision-making that provide the foresight and flexibility to adapt to changing conditions. It is not simply about existing infrastructure, property or communities alone. The resilience approach accepts that change is inevitable, and in many cases out of our hands, and instead focuses on the need to be able to withstand and recover from the unexpected and, where reconstruction is needed, to build back better.

We provide expertise and tools for anticipating, resisting, absorbing, recovering, adapting and transforming that cover all phases of flooding: before, during and after.

What is resilience?

Resilience is the ability to anticipate, prepare for, and adapt to changing conditions and withstand, respond to, and recover rapidly from disruptions. Resilient approaches involve anticipating, resisting, absorbing, recovering, adapting and transforming from disturbing and extreme floods.

Resilience at all levels

  • System resilience  We analyse flood risk across specific system to assess how it is likely to respond to flooding, and to determine the system’s resilience now and in the future.
  • Asset resilience  We identity and advise on the likelihood of failure (fragility) of different types of flood defence when faced with floods of different severities.
  • Property resilience  We support property resilience activities that include both resistance – temporary flood defences – and use of appropriate building materials.

We also have expertise that supports delivery of different aspects of resilience:


    Actions to prepare in advance
    to respond to shocks and stresses

    • Climate and socio-economic scenario analysis
    • Methodological frameworks and approaches for planning and incorporating climate resilience
    • Climate risk and vulnerability assessments (CRVAs)
    • Asset management and condition assessment
    • Integrated, multi-hazard assessments
    • Systems analysis of interdependences 
    • Stress testing and extreme analysis
    • Growing portfolio of forecasting capabilities
    • Earth observation monitoring and forecasting


    Actions to help withstand or endure
    shocks and stresses to prevent an
    impact on infrastructure services


    Actions that, accepting there will be or
    has been an impact on infrastructure
    services, aimto lessen that impact


    Actions that change the system
    to enable it to continue to
    deliver services

    • Forward looking strategies to keep options open for future interventions 
    • Scalable solutions involving multiple nested measures
    • Decision pathways and adaptive management approaches
    • Option appraisal, selection and optimisation, and visualisation
    • Prioritisation of options and preparation of investment plans, and financing strategies
    • Earth Observation for monitoring changes.


    Actions that improve systems,
    for example transforming infrastructure
    to meet the net zero carbon target,
    involving ambitious and even surprising
    scaleable solutions involving multiple
    nested measures.



    Want to know more?

    Jonathan Simm
    Jonathan Simm
    Chief technical director, resilience
    +44 (0)1491 822899
    Preferred contact method
    Stay informed - opt-in to receive regular updates

    Click our privacy policy.