Living Well with Water: how we might do flood risk management differently

Decisions in Flood risk management are often filled with controversy. However, as with all decisions to do with the environment, it involves valuation at its heart.

This online talk by Seb O’Connor will introduce the audience to the ways in which environmental valuation takes place and how it might be done differently. Most importantly, this talk will invite the audience to consider their own relationships with the rivers in York and what’s important to them when thinking about living with water.

In widening participation to understanding people’s values, valuation can become a more democratic process and decisions about flooding might start from the very outset with public conversations. As a result, the way flood risk management is practiced might move away from a technical focus on ‘how do we keep water out’ to one in which we collectively imagine how we might live well with water.

This event looks to invite people living with the rivers in York to consider what is important to them about living with water, opening up ways of imagining alternative future relationships and how this might link in with making decisions in flood risk management differently.

Living Well with Water is part of York Environment Week 2020 which runs from 28 November to 6 December. 

Booking information

The talk is free to attend but booking is essential.

Book here via Eventbrite.

About the speaker

Seb O’Connor is a Postgraduate Researcher based in the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies at the University of Leeds. Seb’s research looks at environmental valuation, a practice that often occupies a contentious middle ground between nature and culture. Specifically, Seb is looking at ways we can democratise processes of valuing the environment, particularly regarding flood risk management in York. 


Rawcliffe Meadows, York. Photo by Seb O’Connor.