Launching City2City learning at two-day partner event in Sheffield

30 January 2018 - Published by Ellen Kelder

Last week BEGIN hosted the first City2City learning workshop for UK partners, preceding the TWENTY65 Planning for Water Thought Leadership Club at the University of Sheffield.

The Planning for Water workshop, included discussions on policy and sustainable water management and a presentation of CIRIA’s B£ST (Benefits of SuDS Tool). This free tool and guidance, for use on PCs, makes assessing the benefits of Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SuDS) easier, without the need for full scale economic inputs.

Liz Sharp of the University of Sheffield, also released her book titled ‘Reconnecting People and Water’.

City2City learning kicked off on the second day, with interactive workshops focusing on social innovation. This included an open discussion for UK partners to help each other and share ideas on what is and isn't working for them, as they share similar policy domains and political context.

The importance of community engagement for the maintenance of BGI was also discussed. To better educate local areas, suggestions were made to appoint champions, who would be responsible for ensuring the local community knows exactly why SuDS exist.

Following the discussions, partners visited four BGI flood alleviation schemes in Sheffield, to have in-depth discussions with the University of Sheffield SuDS planners, so they can learn from their effective measures and apply the new knowledge to their own pilot sites.

City partner Bradford stated, “This City2City learning workshop on community engagement for maintenance of BGI was very useful to learn from other UK partners experiencing similar issues that are highly relevant for us”.

Aberdeen City Council also found the event positive and helpful: “Talks on community engagement and maintenance has been very useful, with good ideas on how to better connect with community through an elected representative.”

The two-day event helped partners identify more clearly what needs they have and how they can help each other. It proved to be a step in the right direction for City2City learning.