The recent floods in the North West and elsewhere in the UK from Storm Christoph have highlighted once again our vulnerability to climate change, the importance of managing urban development and for households to take action to prepare.
Now researchers at Lancaster University are working with the Environment Agency and the University of Hull to find innovative ways to inspire people to take effective action and participate in managing flood risk in their area.
Using new digital tools and techniques, the ‘Landscapes to Lifescapes’ online exhibition provides a way to engage with different audiences about flood risk awareness.
A 360° virtual reality experience entitled ‘Help Callum’, which uses new immersive technology, is at the centre of the exhibition.
It tells the true story of a young boy who was flooded out of his home and the impact this had on him, his family and his neighbourhood.
The video is based on real testimony gathered during Lancaster’s Economic and Social Research Council-funded ‘Children, Young People and Flooding’ project and asks viewers to think how they would ‘Help Callum’ with the different challenges he faces, opening up discussion about the nature of flood risk and the complexities of recovery.
The ‘Landscapes to Lifescapes’ exhibition is a joint initiative between Lancaster University, the University of Hull and the Environment Agency and is hosted by The Flood Hub, which supports communities to manage flood and coastal risk across the North West.
The exhibition goes live today (February 3) as part of the ‘Flood & Coast’ conference, produced by the Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Management and the Environment Agency.
“The aim is to show how flooding affects both our landscapes and our lives or ‘lifescapes’, as a way to help people become more prepared and improve community resilience,” said Dr Alison Lloyd Williams of Lancaster University, who will officially launch the exhibition at the conference.
“As a public virtual exhibition, we’ll be gathering feedback from our visitors and using this to develop new awareness projects.”
The exhibition explores how flooding affects our physical and social environment from impacts on the landscape, homes and businesses to the effects on people’s everyday lives, relationships, livelihoods and well-being.
It features games and videos, including the exciting 360° virtual reality experience, Help Callum. There are opportunities to share feedback and ideas to help develop new resources about flood risk and recovery.
· Lancaster University Friends Fund has helped to support the development of this exhibition project.
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