This project joins two significant problems in the Don Valley, declining industry and flooding, and uses one to prevent the other.


There is a significant flooding problem in the Don valley. During the 2007 floods Rotherham had much of its vital infrastructure damaged and incurred lasting damage to the town centre and surrounding villages that is still being repaired. To prevent further flooding Rotherham council commissioned a series of intensive and expensive flood alleviation measures - the first phase has cost £14 million.

The Pitt Review after the 2007 floods made the following recommendation:

We strongly advocate the adoption of sustainable flood management as the most appropriate way forward in dealing with flood risk management into the future. Flood defence structures should be used where necessary to protect people and property from flooding, but complementary natural solutions must be properly considered and delivered on the ground through the creation of washlands and wetlands for flood storage, and the restoration of natural processes throughout the catchment. Strict planning controls on floodplain development and the widespread use of Sustainable Drainage Systems in urban and rural areas, flood warning systems and flood resilience measures must also form part of the sustainable flood management solution.

The Foresight Report on the Flood and Coastal Defence Project (Evans, 2003 p. 34) concludes that with an integrated approach, one that used strategic planning and sustainable measures the Uk could achieve a level of flood resilience with an investment of £22 billion that would cost with £52 billion if we used conventional measures.

Declining Industry

Industry in Rotherham has been decline for the last 150 years from its peak in 1841 when 45% of its industry was manufacturing to its current level of 21%. At the same time the land used for industry has dropped, leaving many unoccupied brownfield sites near to Rotherham centre. However, despite the overall decline in industrial production and significant flood risk, commercial pressures resulted in the redevelopment of many former industrial sites within the flood plane that are now at significant risk of flooding.

The Project

This project takes works on the premise that industry begins to move back into the centres of Sheffield and Rotherham, away from the high flood risk areas, leaving vacant sites along the riverside between Sheffield and Rotherham. The project will create a wetland within the chosen site on the valley floor to absorb flood waters that would otherwise have damaged the centre of Rotherham.

Tetrapod Temporary Dam Core


The Site




Fish Farming


Self Organising Systems

Tetrapod Structures

Self-assembling solar arrays as easy as mixing oil and water
Researchers modify tiny solar "chiplets" to get them to self-assemble, driven by the free energy of their interactions with an oil-water interface.

Using copper and electricity to scrub air of greenhouse gas

References from Previous Studios

Studio 2

Region 1 / Energy Internet Map
Deluge / General Outlook
Year 2100: Project Afterlife


Amisah and Cowx Impacts of abandoned mine and industrial discharges on fish abundance andmacro invertebrate diversity of the upper River Don in South Yorkshire

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