Working Paper Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Pluvial Flooding in Utrecht: On Its Way to a Flood-Proof City

Version 1 : Received: 24 May 2019 / Approved: 28 May 2019 / Online: 28 May 2019 (12:27:39 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Brockhoff, R.C.; Koop, S.H.; Snel, K.A. Pluvial Flooding in Utrecht: On Its Way to a Flood-Proof City. Water 2019, 11, 1501. Brockhoff, R.C.; Koop, S.H.; Snel, K.A. Pluvial Flooding in Utrecht: On Its Way to a Flood-Proof City. Water 2019, 11, 1501.

Journal reference: Water 2019, 11, 1501
DOI: 10.3390/w11071501

Abstract

Downpours are increasing in frequency and severity due to climate change. Cities are particularly susceptible to downpours because of their large share of impervious surfaces. Minimising pluvial flood risk requires all involved stakeholders to collaborate and overcome probable barriers. Simultaneously, an increase in citizen engagement in climate adaptation is preferred, whereas experiences with inclusive decision-making are still limited. The aim of this paper is to obtain a deeper understanding of how the capacity to govern pluvial flood risk can be developed through citizen engagement. We scrutinised the capacity of local actors to govern pluvial flood risk in the city of Utrecht, the Netherlands. For the analysis of Utrecht’s problem-solving capacity, the Governance Capacity Framework provided a consistent assessment of governance components. The results indicate that Utrecht’s capacity to govern pluvial flooding is relatively well-developed. Collaboration between public authorities is advanced, sufficient financial resources are available and smart monitoring enables high levels of evaluation and learning. However, citizen awareness and engagement in policy making is rather low. Accordingly, citizens’ willingness to pay for flood adaptation is limited. Stimulating flood risk awareness by combining financial incentives with more advanced arrangements for active citizen engagement is key for Utrecht and other cities.

Subject Areas

citizen engagement; flood risk governance; governance capacity; climate adaptation

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