Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Assessing the Capacity to Govern Flood Risk in Cities and the Role of Contextual Factors

Version 1 : Received: 11 June 2018 / Approved: 12 June 2018 / Online: 12 June 2018 (10:11:21 CEST)

How to cite: Koop, S.; Monteiro Gomes, F.; Schoot, L.; Dieperink, C.; Driessen, P.; Van Leeuwen, K. Assessing the Capacity to Govern Flood Risk in Cities and the Role of Contextual Factors. Preprints 2018, 2018060181 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201806.0181.v1). Koop, S.; Monteiro Gomes, F.; Schoot, L.; Dieperink, C.; Driessen, P.; Van Leeuwen, K. Assessing the Capacity to Govern Flood Risk in Cities and the Role of Contextual Factors. Preprints 2018, 2018060181 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201806.0181.v1).

Abstract

Sea level rise and increased storm events, urge cities to develop governance capacity. However, a cohesive conceptual and empirical-based understanding of what governance capacity implies, how to measure it, and what cities can learn, is largely lacking. Understanding the influence of context is critical to address this issue. Accordingly, we aim to identify crosscutting contextual factors and their influence in impeding, enhancing or prioritising different elements of governance capacity to address urban flood risk. By assessing governance capacity through nine conditions and 27 indicators in two Dutch and two cities in the UK, three crosscutting contextual factors are identified: 1) flood probability and impact, 2) national imposed institutional setting, and 3) level of authority to secure long-term financial support. We found that contextual factors explain differences in urban capacity-priorities within and between both countries. The institutional setting in the UK and recent political devolution emphasized the role of citizen awareness, stakeholder engagement, entrepreneurial agents, and the overall necessity for local capacity-development. The Dutch focus on flood safety through centralised public coordination reduces flood probability but also inhibits incentives to reduce flood impacts and reduced public awareness. In conclusion, the three identified contextual factors enable a better understanding of capacity-building priorities.

Subject Areas

water governance; governance capacity; comparative studies; urban flooding; contextual factors

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