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Collaborative Workshop: Flood Risk Management in Cities

On 14 December 2018, a workshop on establishing collaborative research to evaluate the effectiveness of governance arrangements in achieving resilient, efficient, and legitimate flood risk management outcomes took place at KIT.
Flood Risk Management in Cities

Reocurring pictures of flooded neighborhoods and destroyed infrastructures put on the political agenda the question how effective are Germany’s flood risk governance arrangements in achieving resilient, efficient, and legitimate flood risk management outcomes in cities. While current and past research has explored this question from multiple perspectives for a range of communities, there is still a lack of generalizable data to systematically compare the findings across communities within Germany but also between countries. This limits our potential to identify and tackle systematic risks that explain the issues that the available evidence has highlighted and that support the development of effective governance arrangements, which strengthen a city's resilience to flooding, improve the efficiency of its flood risk management and enhance the legitimacy of flood risk management decisions. Furthermore, it limits the lessons that other countries can deduce from the German experience and visa versa.

Therefore, the aim of this international workshop was to establish an inter- and transdisciplinary research cooperation on flood risk management between universities in Baden-Württemberg (University of Konstanz, University of Stuttgart, University of Freiburg) as well as further partners in Germany (Leuphana University of Lüneburg; Rhine Ruhr Institute for Social Research and Policy Consulting (RISP) at the University of Duisburg-Essen) and abroad (University of Geneva, Switzerland; Utrecht University, Netherlands; University of Waterloo, Canada). Additionally, the Regierungspräsidium Tübingen participated in the workshop.

In preparation for the workshop, research on past and ongoing projects on flood risks in urban areas was conducted by the University of Konstanz in order to analyze key collaborations and actors within this area. 37 research projects were evaluated. Subsequently, the workshop brought together scientists who are interested in comparing case studies at national and international level in order to particularly explore creative ways to investigate the complex constellation of risks, institutions, resources, actor networks and discourses involved in the policy decision to deal with urban flood risks before or after an event.

A lesson learned from this workshop was that a long-term, international research partnership would bring many synergy effects to the individual efforts of the scientists involved to understand the governance processes that support effective urban flood risk management in a changing climate.

The workshop was organized by Dr. Antje Witting (Chair of Empirical Theory of the State, University of Konstanz).

Additional information are provided in the PROGRAMME.