13 February 2023
Apéro Vigicrues - Cerema sur le terrain
The BRIC (Bring resilience in disadvantaged communities) project on flood resilience ends at the end of the first quarter of 2023. Involved in four experimental sites, Cerema tested several tools whose objectives were to create local cooperation networks and raise awareness of flood risks to improve resilience. Artistic awareness-raising walks, virtual reality, river festivals, exhibitions, workshops and a flood safety plan are among the main results.

The objective of the BRIC project (Bring resilience in disadvantaged communities), an action research project of the Interreg Channel programme, is to create sustainable local cooperation networks with the aim of improving resilience to floods.

The hypothesis of the project is that social ties foster collective initiatives and strengthen resilience to floods and the effects of climate change. Involving people and raising awareness of flood risks is at the heart of all project activities. Reaching a disadvantaged audience is also part of the objectives. This requires specific approaches based on strong partnerships with local structures.


A first essential survey

Several actions were carried out on the 8 experimental sites: 4 French (Aulne valley, Risle valley/Pont-Audemer, Authie valley, Oise valleys) and 4 English (Plymouth, Kent, Weymouth, Canvey Island). Cerema managed the activities of 2 sites itself and was involved in the other 2 French sites in collaboration with the CPIE du Val d'Authie and the Oise-les-Vallées urban planning agency.

Involving local stakeholders and the population in this process required a long territorial diagnosis, which lasted about ten months. It was carried out on the basis of bibliographical research and semi-directive interviews with institutional players. This knowledge of the territory and the actors is essential in order to propose activities adapted to the context, history and needs of the actors.

Involving the population also requires a clear understanding of their concerns, their relationship with water and their perception of flood risks. To this end, appreciative surveys were conducted. They were carried out as a micro-trottoir in an anonymous way with general questions: "What do you like here?", "How could things improve?", "What do you think about climate change?", "What do you think about floods?


A variety of activities rooted in the territories

essai d'un casque de réalité virtuelle en situation d'inondation
Virtual reality to raise awareness among the general public

Others aimed to raise awareness of the potential consequences of flooding: visualisation of flood scenarios, virtual reality helmets, exhibitions on historical floods, artistic walks, parties. In each case, care was taken to also address ways to prevent the risk.

Finally, in addition to their awareness-raising objective, most of these actions aimed to create a working dynamic with the inhabitants and the actors of the territory. Thus, several types of workshops were carried out:


  • co-construction of events, such as the awareness-raising and exchange workshops prior to the artistic walk,
  • collaborative exchanges on flooding between residents, managers and elected officials,
  • co-construction of products such as the flood safety plan, which allows for the provision of evacuation instructions adapted to a building.


  • Shared lessons from both sides of the Channel

    Despite the differences in governance, which lead to significant disparities in terms of insurance and funding of actions, the same difficulties in involving the public were observed in France and England:

    • governance is complex in both countries and difficult to understand by the general public, who therefore find it hard to know how to get involved
    • mobilisation is often linked to a flood event, as the perception of risks is strongly linked to the experience of each individual.

    Lessons learned and areas for progress were identified:

    • Responsibilities are shared and the discourse on this subject must be clear. A collaborative approach to resilience is needed,
    • Improving resilience from a social perspective requires long-term means and resources,
    • Policies will only be effective if they listen to vulnerable communities and their views,
    • There is no substitute for face-to-face and interpersonal exchanges,
    • The memory of the flood must be kept alive, and evidence of past floods must be valued,
    • Cross-collaboration between all stakeholders should be strengthened in order to disseminate feedback and good practices.


    BRIC project closing seminar on 15 March 2023

    The closing seminar of the BRIC project will be held on 15 March 2023 both online and in Plymouth, England.

    It will provide an opportunity to recount the main successes of the project at the various experimental sites (4 in England and 4 in France) and to show what the BRIC project has contributed in terms of social innovation for climate resilience.


    Register now


    More information

    The BRIC project website lists the actions carried out by the 8 partners during the project. It also refers for each experimentation site (pilot site) to the platform dedicated to the local community.