IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/pio/envira/v44y2012i10p2359-2378.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Flood-risk management, mapping, and planning: the institutional politics of decision support in England

Author

Listed:
  • James Porter
  • David Demeritt

Abstract

Flood maps play an increasingly prominent role in government strategies for flood-risk management. Maps are instruments not just for defining and communicating flood risks, but also for regulating them and for rationalizing the inevitable limits and failures of those controls. Drawing on policy document analysis, official statistics, and 66 key-informant interviews, this paper explores the institutional conflicts over the use of the Environment Agency (EA) Flood Map to support decision making by English local planning authorities (LPAs), whose local political mandate, statutory obligations, and professionalized planning culture put them at odds with the narrower bureaucratic imperative of the Agency to restrict developments at risk of flooding. The paper shows how the Flood Map was designed to standardize and script the planning process and ensure that LPA decisions were aligned with EA views about avoiding development in zones at risk of flooding without actually banning such development outright. But technologies are also shaped by their users, and so the paper documents how planners accommodated and resisted this technology of indirect rule. Their concerns about sterilizing areas depicted as being at risk of flooding and about the difficulties of actually using the Flood Map for speedy and defensible development-control decisions were crucial in its eventual replacement by a new decision-support technology, Strategic Flood Risk Assessments, which then led to the descripting of the Flood Map to influence a new set of users: the public. The paper closes with some wider reflections on the significance of the case for risk-based governance. Keywords: risk governance, regulation, bureaucratic discretion, cartography, science and technology studies

Suggested Citation

  • James Porter & David Demeritt, 2012. "Flood-risk management, mapping, and planning: the institutional politics of decision support in England," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 44(10), pages 2359-2378, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:pio:envira:v:44:y:2012:i:10:p:2359-2378
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.envplan.com/abstract.cgi?id=a44660
    File Function: abstract
    Download Restriction: Fulltext access restricted to subscribers, see http://www.envplan.co.uk/A.html for details

    File URL: http://www.envplan.com/epa/fulltext/a44/a44660.pdf
    File Function: main text
    Download Restriction: Fulltext access restricted to subscribers, see http://www.envplan.co.uk/A.html for details

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. repec:spr:nathaz:v:88:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s11069-017-2870-y is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Peltola, Taru & Tuomisaari, Johanna, 2016. "Re-inventing forestry expertise: Strategies for coping with biodiversity protection in Finland," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 11-18.
    3. Nazmul Huq & Alexander Stubbings, 2015. "How is the Role of Ecosystem Services Considered in Local Level Flood Management Policies: Case Study in Cumbria, England," Journal of Environmental Assessment Policy and Management (JEAPM), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 17(04), pages 1-29, December.
    4. Uttama Barua & M. Shammi Akhter & Mehedi Ahmed Ansary, 2016. "District-wise multi-hazard zoning of Bangladesh," Natural Hazards: Journal of the International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, Springer;International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, vol. 82(3), pages 1895-1918, July.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pio:envira:v:44:y:2012:i:10:p:2359-2378. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Neil Hammond). General contact details of provider: http://www.pion.co.uk .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.