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Jeroen Warner

The article sketches the history of the Flood Action Plan 20 (FAP-20), an experiment with polder compartmentalization, seeking to integrate flood management, drainage, and irrigation, and make it more democratic in response to the destructive 1987 and 1988 floods in Bangladesh. As a transferred technology the project took too little cognizance of local physical, social, institutional, and economic context and practices to be able to work successfully. The project did bring previously unavailable amenities to the region that served as a shelter area in the floods of 1998.

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Anna J. Wesselink, Wiebe E. Bijker, Huib J. de Vriend, and Maarten S. Krol

This article shows how Dutch technological culture has historically dealt with and developed around vulnerability with respect to flooding and indicates recent developments in attitude towards the flood threat. The flooding of New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina temporarily made the Dutch public worry about the flood defense infrastructure in the Netherlands, exemplified by the Delta Works. Could this happen in the Netherlands? After the flooding disaster of 1953, a system of large dams was built to offer safety from flooding with—in theory at least—protection levels that are much higher than in New Orleans. In the public's perception the protection offered is absolute. In practice not all flood defense structures are as secure as they are supposed to be, but their upgrading takes time and money. Katrina has served as a reminder of what is at stake: Can the Dutch afford to take another 10 years to restore the protection level of their flood defenses? Calls for pride in clever engineering are the latest in a continuing debate on the best way to continue life below sea level.

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Niki Frantzeskaki, Jill Slinger, Heleen Vreugdenhil, and Els van Daalen

This article presents the reframing of flood management practices in the light of social-ecological systems governance. It presents an exploratory theoretical analysis of social-ecological systems (SES) governance complemented by insights from case study analysis. It identifies a mismatch between the goals of the underlying ecosystem paradigms and their manifestation in management practice. The Polder Altenheim case study is an illustration of the consequences of flood management practices that do not match their underlying paradigm. The article recommends two institutional arrangements that will allow institutions to increase their capacity to co-evolve with SES dynamics: (a) institutional arrangements to ensure and enable openness in actor participation, and (b) institutional arrangements to enable updating of the management practices in response to SES dynamics.

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Jos Spits, Barrie Needham, Toine Smits, and Twan Brinkhof

Many historical cities are built alongside rivers. Floodplains were attractive sites for urban expansion. However, the flood events since the 1990's have shown that many urban settlements are under flood risk. This research investigates how flood management and land use planning policies have changed after high water and (near)floods in the Netherlands, Germany, and France. In particular, it investigates how changing policies affect the development of urban riverfronts. Policy documents have been analyzed from all three countries and case studies illustrate the impact of changing policies on concrete developments.

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Anna Wesselink and Jeroen Warner

The aim of this special volume is to critically examine the various ways in which floods and flood management are framed in current policies, especially the “space for rivers” policies that have been adopted in many countries of Western Europe. The articles in this volume discuss different aspects of this framing, while employing different theoretical frames. Of these, Spiral Dynamics stands out as the most intriguing and least known. The papers thereby potentially contribute to reframing policy contents and/or procedures: either because they show alternative policy contents and/or because they show different ways of looking at policy making. This introductory article provides an overview of what framing means in a policy-making context, thereby highlighting the politics of engaging in (re)framing.

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“That’s Where I First Saw the Water”

Mobilizing Children’s Voices in UK Flood Risk Management

Alison Lloyd Williams, Amanda Bingley, Marion Walker, Maggie Mort, and Virginia Howells

space of the research workshop to the public stage of the performance event was challenging but vital in ensuring that the children’s voices “traveled” further and supported their development as agents for change in UK flood management. In planning the

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Karen Hébert, Joshua Mullenite, Alka Sabharwal, David Kneas, Irena Leisbet Ceridwen Connon, Peter van Dommelen, Cameron Hu, Brittney Hammons, and Natasha Zaretsky

practitioners have attempted to deploy local knowledge in the flood management context, where he draws attention to how cultural inequalities lead to uneven power dynamics and imbalances in decision making on managing disasters and the consequences of this. Ilan