A policy instruments palette for spatial quality: lessons from Dutch flood risk management

Britta Restemeyer*, Margo van den Brink, Jos Arts

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review


Worldwide, more integrated and spatially embedded forms of flood risk management have been advocated. In the Netherlands, this ‘spatial turn’ can be associated with a quest for spatial quality, i.e. making use of existing landscape values to create more liveable, aesthetic and sustainable flood risk management solutions. Reflecting on Dutch flood risk management practice, this paper inventorizes which policy instruments are currently used to strengthen spatial quality, and how involved actors view these instruments. We present empirical insights on common concerns, standpoints and dilemmas from the Dutch Flood Protection Programme (DFPP), a large-scale reinforcement operation to climate-proof the Netherlands’ main flood defences by 2050. Spatial quality here remains a rather ambiguous policy objective, lacking a legally binding framework. Using the NATO-policy instruments’ typology as a starting point, and based on a co-learning process between science and practice, we present an instruments palette that can be used to strengthen spatial quality in flood risk management. Our findings reveal that the DFPP makes use of rather ‘soft’ policy instruments. The actual achievement of spatial quality goals seems to depend largely on the combined project team competencies, guidance and support provided by responsible water authorities, and commitment of other project partners.

Originele taal-2English
TijdschriftJournal of Environmental Policy and Planning
StatusE-pub ahead of print - 21-mrt.-2024

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