Flooding processes are complex and can occur throughout urban areas sometimes with devastating consequences. Traditionally flood risks have been managed through a combination of structural defence measures, warnings and emergency measures. More recently they have included development controls and land zoning policies. When such measures fail, individuals, authorities and the economy have to cope with the consequences. There is a growing realization that the resilience of individuals and institutions to floods and the risks from flooding need to be addressed. In the past few years there has been what some have referred to as a paradigm shift in the way responses to flooding are being conceptualized and the way this affects actors and actions. Based on fieldwork including interviews this paper presents two examples of actor and institutional responses to flooding events from the cities of Bradford and Glasgow in the United Kingdom.