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The IMCORE project ran from 2008 to 2011 and was funded under the EU Interreg IVB programme.

VIDEO: Alex Midlen and Pippa Crighton explain the approach they took in the East of England, in particular in Jaywick.


Access or download overviews, tools, techniques and examples of visualisation tools, educational tools, legal and policy tools, future scenario techniques, etc

Practical tips for following the IMCORE approach to planning to adapt to coastal climate change 

guidance1The issue identification was focused on evidence which had an analytical base to it, such as demographic statistics, scientific reports. Partners needed more tangible evidence than a workshop would provide on its own. Furthermore, it only later in the process became apparent how important are the individual perceptions of people, no matter how factually correct or not they are.

Thus, in this case study the issue identification was actually and ongoing and evolving process as the level of understanding advanced incrementally. This process was further complicated by the inevitable differences in the pace at which different groups advance their levels of knowledge and understanding.

It is important to recognize these dynamics and to plan for

• a wide based research agenda

• ongoing and sometimes intensive communications activities (often at a one to one level)

• to identify and acknowledge communication gaps and to develop an approach to addressing them.



Understanding the context
What we did

This incorporates the studies that can be viewed via the links below the table:

We commissioned reports on the socio-economic status of coastal settlements and the relationships between them, on governance and decision-making, and on conflicts between environmental policy and regeneration policy

Why we did it To provide an adequate evidence base so as to provide credible conclusions and recommendations regarding adaptation. These particular pieces of work were chosen in response to key issues. These were:

• That coastal settlements underperform in the region and there is pressure to promote growth in these places

• It is recognised that key decisions often conflict and that the way decisions are made must therefore be failing

• It was recognised that the Regional spatial policies for environment and for regeneration and economic development were somewhat incompatible.

What we achieved A deeper understanding of socio-economic interrelationships between settlements, some important insights into governance and its failings, and discovering more questions to answer.
Problems we had Specifying the problems clearly enough to ensure that the studies provided the answers needed. It is also true that the problems are very complex and that the studies could not provide ready solutions.
Solutions (if any) In future exercises it would be advisable to invest in a scoping exercise or study to better define the problem and the nature of answers required.
What we learned

We learned that understanding the issues is a much more complicated and involved task than at first thought. Issues extend beyond facts and encompass people's and institution's differing perspectives. Ongoing research and stakeholder engagement are required to gain insights into these, and ways of incorporating new insights as the process develops are required.


Click on the links below for more information:

Socio-Economic Research

'Who decides' A study of governance processes across three coastal areas

Reconciling Regeneration and coastal Adaptation

Reconciling Regeneration and coastal Adaptation: Local Policy reviews

Bench marking data for East of England Coastal Communities

A commentary on the statistics


National Voice for Coastal Communities Forum
What we did CoastNet responded to multiple requests from communities for support by helping to establish a national mechanism to enable communities needing to adapt to come together and identify common issues.
Why we did it So that communities could communicate their collective perspective on adaptation to government more effectively.
What we achieved Established a national Forum, accepted by Government and fully engaged in the policy debate.
Problems we had It continues to be difficult to make the case for the coast in a policy environment that is focussed primarily on fluvial flood policy. The new government has shifted the focus of the adaptation debate to coastal local authorities, which has made it much more fragmented at a national level.
Solutions (if any)  Continue to support the work of the Forum and its constituent communities to make its case for a national policy framework of some description to support local adaptation.
What we learned That 'one voice' from affected communities is more powerful and effective than many uncoordinated approaches.


Perceptions of change (Holding back the tide)
What we did

We gave communities and schools the opportunity to explore 'coastal change' from their own perspectives, asking them to undertake a self-directed project and to exhibit their results. We provided support and encouragement but let each group choose their own topics of interest.

Click here to view the Holding back the tide website

Why we did it To understand how people interpret the phrase 'coastal change'.
What we achieved We learned that people interpret 'coastal change' in a wide range of contexts, from economic to social to environmental perspectives and not consistently in respect of climate change or coastal processes. On the other hand, for practitioners this is the default meaning. This helps us to understand the root causes of some of the miscommunication and conflict with communities in relation to adaptation policy.
Problems we had Drawing connections between the policy interpretation of coastal change with the community perspectives of coastal change, which were much more varied. In particular it is hard to relate the (mainly) arts based outputs from community groups to the science-based environmental policy.
Solutions (if any) We think this is an important issues and therefore responded with proposals for a framework for public and practitioner education called Coastal Literacy. It is designed to encourage a more balanced debate amongst all parties.
What we learned That there is a huge knowledge gap between the policy maker and practitioner, on the one hand and the public on the other.

This learning portal brings together the results and lessons learned from the IMCORE project. This project was funded under the Interreg IVB programme from 2008 to 2011.

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