19 April 2016

A stepwise approach with inspiring best practices

Guidebook on Flood risk governance in Europe launched

Dries Hegger had the honors to hand over the first copy of the guidebook to the WGF chairs.

Expanding cities and climate change contribute to an increasing urban flood risk. But how can it be managed? STAR-FLOOD, consisting of an international team of researchers, created a Practitioner’s Guidebook that introduces a step by step approach towards improvement of flood risk management and governance. The research team presented their key findings to the Working Group on Floods (WGF) in Vienna on 14 April, where flood managers from all European Member States participate to improve the implementation of the EU Floods Directive.

Lack of integrated flood risk management

Urban regions are expanding and because of climate change sea levels rise and rivers overflow. Cities may not be well adapted to those rising flood risks; partly because a lack of an integrated flood risk management approach. In the STAR-FLOOD project, ten partners performed four years of research in six countries and 18 case study areas. The results are meant to help flood risk managers in Europe to implement this approach. Most relevant results are the in-depth analysis of flood risk governance in  Belgium, England, France, the Netherlands, Poland and Sweden, the international comparison, the design oriented framework and the conclusions and recommendations.

A stepwise approach

Policy briefs summarise the main lessons at the level of the European Commission and specify lessons for the analysed countries. The Practitioner’s Guidebook introduces a stepwise approach towards improvement of flood risk management and governance. It aims to inspire policymakers and other practitioners throughout Europe to re-evaluate their practices and learn from practices in other countries.

The first official copy

Dries Hegger and Willemijn van Doorn-Hoekveld of Utrecht University had the honors to hand over the first official copy of the Practitioner’s Guidebook and Policy Briefs to WGF chairs Ioannis Kavvadas (European Commission), Clemens Neuhold (Austria) and Barbro Näslund-Landenmark (Sweden). The Practitioner’s Guidebook was developed by Sweco and is now publicly available as interactive, online version and as pdf-report in 5 languages. All STAR-FLOOD products can be accessed on the website of STAR-FLOOD.

STAR-FLOOD has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Programme for Research, Technological Development and Demonstration under Grant Agreement No 308364.

Sustainability at Utrecht University

Sustainability research at Utrecht University is exceptionally strong, spanning many different disciplinary fields, including the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. In 2017, Utrecht University launched Pathways to Sustainability, promoting interdisciplinary research within these academic disciplines and transdisciplinary approaches with external partners to take up an active role in furthering a more sustainable society. With rigor meets relevance as a guiding principle, Pathways to Sustainability pursues novel approaches in close interaction with governance, business and the scientific community.