STAR-FLOOD sparks interest in China

On December 2nd, 2014, STAR-FLOOD welcomed three researchers from the Logistical Engineering University of PLA located in Chongqing –  one of the leading military engineering academies of China. Professor Shifu Zhang, Mr Ming Du and Mr Dean He came all the way to Utrecht to hear more about flood risk management in Europe. Since floods are thé major natural disaster in China, trumping even earthquakes, urban flooding is high on the political agendas – but the policies and laws linked to flood management are lagging behind compared to European countries like Germany and the Netherlands.

After a presentation on STAR-FLOOD, all present engaged in a lively conversation on flood management issues in China. The Chinese visitors were especially interested in the governance topics linked to emergency services and management, and invited STAR-FLOOD researchers to share their knowledge on this and other flood related issues during their ‘Technology Week’ in October of 2015. On behalf of STAR-FLOOD, Marleen van Rijswick, Carel Dieperink, Dries Hegger and Marloes Bakker appreciatively accepted this invitation. When the meeting came to a close, professor Zhang surprised professor van Rijswick with a beautiful gift (see photo): ‘china from China’.

Many thanks go to Ms Liping Dai – a Chinese PhD student at Utrecht University working on a comparative study on Chinese and European/Dutch water law and policy. Since she speaks both English and Chinese, and knows about both legal and policy systems, she was extremely helpful as an intermediary during the discussions.