Glasgow is one of two large cities in what is otherwise a country with a very low population density. It was one of the great cities of the Industrial Revolution in the UK, the collapse of the ship building industry leaving large areas of land available for redevelopment.
Glasgow is an example of a city which partly creates it own flood problems from local runoff and a city for which there is claimed to be a backlog of under-investment in surface and wastewater management. In turn, Scotland was the early adaptor of SuDS in the UK for flood risk management purposes in contrast to England; so differences in governance logically explain this difference.
Small, flashy rivers also contribute to the flood risk in Glasgow. The White Cart Water scheme and two other schemes include flood storage areas, the temporary, deliberate flooding of agricultural land, and are being used as part of the flood risk management strategy. Whilst such solutions are commonplace in the UK, these are very recent examples of the practice
In Scotland, local government has significant responsibilities in flood risk management and has developed forms of stakeholder engagement through Flood Appraisal Groups in developing strategies for flood risk management. This includes seeking to find a viable public-private partnership with the insurance industry to continue to provide insurance coverage against flooding.
As Scotland develops increasing autonomy, there is both scope for and a desire to develop a specifically Scottish approach to flood risk management. Environmental NGOs have also had a significant role in the development of flood risk management policy in Scotland and the issues of accountability and legitimacy of NGOs, and hence their appropriate role, is an increasing significant issue.