Research topic

Increasing Flood Risks in Urban Agglomerations in Europe

It is expected that flood risks from rivers will increase significantly in the coming decades, not only because of climate change, but also due to increasing urbanization of river areas and soil subsidence. To deal with these risks, many European countries focus on building, reinforcing and maintaining flood defense works. STAR-FLOOD takes as its starting point that such a focus is necessary, but not sufficient in order to ensure sustained flood protection. From a resilience point of view, the strategy should be broadened with pro-active spatial planning, building prescriptions, warning systems, evacuation- and recovery plans. To study how this broadening of strategies can be brought about, the programme will combine and integrate public administration and legal expertise. The research closely connects to current policy discourses in various European countries and to the approach underlying the European Floods Directive.

Towards design principles for appropriate and resilient Flood Risk Governance

This programme aims to uncover the opportunities and barriers of broadening the Flood Risk Strategies in different countries. With this knowledge, the program will support authorities and other stakeholders in vulnerable urban agglomerations in Europe by designing appropriate and resilient Flood Risk Governance Arrangements (FRGAs). The programme’s final goal will be to develop policy design principles for FRGAs and their implications for policies and law at the level of the EU, its member states, regional authorities, and public-private partnerships.

Five Flood Risk Strategies

Literature on Risk Management often refers to a chain of responses to flood risks. Inspired by those links in the risk chain, we identify five different Flood Risk Strategies (FRSs). Apart from the category of flood mitigation, our categorization resembles that of EU Flood Risk policies.