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Miss Alison Crawford
Award winning Atkins SDI tool improves flood risk management
One of the greatest challenges facing Local Authorities is the need to plan for future housing growth in the face of climate change.
Sharing and maintaining the vast amount of spatial information required for strategic spatial planning across a large region, has until now, posed a significant challenge. The award winning Atkins SDI tool has already been helping Local Authorities improve their flood risk management.
The Partnership for Urban South Hampshire (PUSH) commissioned Atkins to undertake a Strategic Flood Risk Assessment (SFRA) for the South Hampshire sub-region, a 600km² area including the cities of Portsmouth and Southampton.
The project aimed to provide Local Authorities with the spatial information required to plan for sustainable development which avoids areas of flood risk. This resulted in the creation of flood outlines, maps of flood hazards, outlines showing the changing extent of flood risk as a result of climate change, information on surface water and groundwater flooding and the level of existing flood defences.
The large volume of spatial data developed meant that traditional forms of dissemination in paper format or on a single GIS workstation could prove to be a challenge across 11 Local Authorities.
In response, Atkins developed an innovative web based mapping solution utilising the Atkins Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI). This enables users to access the information in an efficient and interactive manner against a background of Ordnance Survey base mapping that provides location information. The SDI supports Open GIS Consortium standards and provides a mechanism to update, publish and share spatial information through standard web browsers and industry leading tools, thus reducing the need for significant investment in IT infrastructure. The success of the SDI solution has led to Atkins providing it on an ongoing basis through a hosted service.
"This sophisticated web based mapping approach is an important part of the toolkit for assessing flood risk at a strategic level and is already being used by planning officers when considering housing allocations and for controlling development.. it has been a pleasure to work with Atkins throughout this project." Lyall Cairns, PUSH
The website is also being utilised by Flood Risk Managers and Emergency Planners in assessing the vulnerability of existing communities to flooding. As an added advantage, the website is available to the public therefore potentially reducing the effort required by Local Authorities in responding to planning queries relating to flood risk.
The SDI is proving to be a sophisticated operational tool and recently won the Association for Geographic Information (AGI) Award for Innovation & Best Practice. In this instance, the ability to easily access the SFRA spatial data will be vital in keeping the growing communities of South Hampshire safe from flooding.
The PUSH SDI web can be viewed at http://push.atkinsgeospatial.com
If you would like to know more about the Atkins SDI tool, please contact Anne Kemp, Head of the Atkins Geospatial team.
For further information please email Atkins