36. Resilient and Adaptive Communities (RAC): Making Luton & Dunstable resilient to climate change

Themes: Community engagement and participation; Promoting appropriate and sympathetic land management; Improving water quality and water quantity


  • Improve local knowledge and understanding of the river and the issues facing it
  • Increase public access to and involvement in the river
  • Promote the river as a community and educational resource
  • Promote action to reduce households' water consumption and pollution
  • Reduce flood risk
  • Improve existing wildlife corridors
  • Control or eradicate invasive non-native species
  • Increase the amount and quality of habitat
  • Reduce pollution through physical improvements around the river
  • Work together to investigate and implement solutions to manage and minimise sources of pollution
  • Educate the general public and local businesses about its role in water quality and quantity improvements

Project description

Vision & objectives: Working together to make our communities resilient to flood risk and adaptable to climate change.  Doing this in a way that also provides wider environmental, social and economic benefits.


Places that are adaptable and resilient to a changing climate: Implement an adaptive approach to flood risk planning that promotes the use of nature based solutions to tackle all sources of flooding and makes efficient use of water resources.

Communities that are engaged, listened to, and participate in healthy place-making: Landowners, businesses and local people support this approach, and are  involved in discussions about climate change, the value of nature, wellbeing and their role in shaping their community.

A robust and enhanced natural environment: Create, protect and enhance blue-green infrastructure, habitat networks and biodiversity, maximising natural capital, environmental net gain, and carbon reduction.

Partnerships that explore opportunities and support delivery: Promote a catchment scale, collaborative approach to place-making, working together to deliver integrated benefits, realise local policy and stakeholder aspirations, reap efficiencies and unlock funding opportunities.

Project description

The Environment Agency is working with Luton Borough & Central Bedfordshire Councils to develop a strategy to identify flooding and resilience issues across the area and how they can be creatively tackled to maximise benefits to the community and the environment.

The benefits of this wide, partnership approach are:

Taking a strategic, place-based approach

Maximise the environmental, social and economic benefits of our work

Bring partners together to create a joint long-term vision

Ensure that any development takes place in a planned and integrated way

Local communities can help direct any action taken

Support the Government’s 25 year Environment Strategy

The Environment Agency, Luton Borough Council and Central Bedfordshire Council are working with partners to define the vision and objectives for this work. Once this agreed, work will commence on an implementation plan to deliver this vision on which there will be wide consultation and engagement across the community.

Project lead: Environment Agency

Design by LTD Design Consultants and build by Garganey Consulting.