The UK Climate Resilience Programme ran from 2019 to 2023

MAGIC: Mobilising adaptation – governance of infrastructure through co-production

Mobilising Adaptation: Governance of Infrastructure through Co-Production (MAGIC) will demonstrate and evaluate a community-led approach to reducing flood risk, whilst providing opportunities for urban residents to improve their health and wellbeing, through better engagement with blue and green spaces. The project will do this via a case study of the flood-vulnerable region around Hull. It builds on a 12-month pilot project funded by the SPF UK Climate Resilience Programme.

Community-led approach

While authorities recognise the need for greater water storage to manage flooding, implementation of this has so far been constrained. MAGIC will explore whether flood resilience measures can be enhanced through greater empowerment of local communities to provide and manage water storage features either on public land or on their own properties. A community-led approach can increase the knowledge and preparedness of residents while reducing, as much as possible, flood risk in the area. Other benefits might include improved health and wellbeing from spending more time in blue and green spaces, improved social cohesion and a greater sense of place.

Building on close relations established in a previous project, MAGIC aims to facilitate change in two contrasting neighbourhoods: Bilton village in the East Riding and Derringham in Hull.

Hear more from those involved on this Hull is This podcast, or follow the Facebook groups for Bilton and Derringham.

Project outline

Principally, the project will work with the two neighbourhoods to initiate a community-led ‘alternative reservoir’ system made up of domestic raintanks, raingardens and swales.

Additionally, the project will interview policy makers to better understand the influence of local and national organisations and policy making on local involvement in flood risk management.

Finally, the project will work with developers to explore how novel design might combine increased greenery with flood resilience in future housing developments.

The project will be aided by its partners, the Living with Water Partnership, and the Hull and East Riding Timebank.

More about the background to this project can be found here: Designing Blue Green Infastructure for water management, human health and wellbeing 


Watch the Climate Resilience webinar, 10 February 2021: The feasibility of domestic raintanks contributing to urban flood resilience with Professor Liz Sharp.

This is a video of Liz Sharp introducing Community Action for Water. More information can be seen on their web page.

Liz also delivered an online seminar to the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) of Yorkshire on Changing approaches to flood management for planning professionals.

Why we all need to engage with managing rainwater: This short film explains to a climate-change aware public why we need to hold back the rain in our landscape.


Chapman, K; and Sharp, L. (2023), Policy Briefing: The benefits of a community-oriented approach to surface water management, Sheffield: University of Sheffield.

Payne, P., Walker, L., Illman, S and Sharp, L. (2023) Sustainable drainage and new housing developments, Sheffield: University of Sheffield

Sefton, C; Hughes, G; Sharp, L; Chapman, K; Quinn, (2023). Community Engagement for Nature-Based Solutions. The University of Sheffield.

Sefton, C and Sharp, L. (2023) The longest way round is the shortest way home: communicating rain management, published by the Department of Town and Regional Planning University of Sheffield

Sefton, C., Sharp, L., Quinn, R., Stovin, V. and Pitcher, L. (2022). The feasibility of domestic raintanks contributing to community-oriented urban flood resilience. Climate Risk Management, Vol. 35, 100390

Sharp, L., Kenyon, A., Eun Yeong, C. (2020). Designing Blue Green Infrastructure (BGI) for water management, human health, and wellbeing: summary of evidence and principles for design. The University of Sheffield. Report.

Contain the Rain – How we can manage water together
Rain Containers – Connect to nature by collecting water
Contain the Rain – Create your own beautiful rain garden