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Journal of Flood Risk Management

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Drainage, Urban runoff -- Management, Sustainable urban development, Flood damage prevention


Blue-Green Infrastructure (BGI) and Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) are increasingly recognised as vital components of urban flood risk management. However, uncertainty regarding their hydrologic performance and lack of confidence concerning their public acceptability create concerns and challenges that limit their widespread adoption. This paper investigates barriers to implementation of BGI in Portland, Oregon, using the Relevant Dominant Uncertainty (RDU) approach. Two types of RDU are identified: scientific RDUs related to physical processes that affect infrastructure performance and service provision, and socio-political RDUs that reflect a lack of confidence in socio-political structures and public preferences for BGI. We find that socio-political RDUs currently exert the strongest negative influences on BGI decision making in Portland.We conclude that identification and management of both biophysical and socio-political uncertainties are essential to broadening the implementation of BGI and sustainable urban flood risk management solutions that are practical, scientifically sound, and supported by local stakeholders.


© 2015 The Authors. Journal of Flood Risk Management published by The Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management and John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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