IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Adaptive flood risk management planning based on a comprehensive flood risk conceptualisation


  • Frans Klijn


  • Heidi Kreibich
  • Hans Moel
  • Edmund Penning-Rowsell


Densely populated deltas are so vulnerable to sea level rise and climate change that they cannot wait for global mitigation to become effective. The Netherlands therefore puts huge efforts in adaptation research and planning for the future, for example through the national research programme Knowledge for Climate and the Delta Programme for the Twenty-first century. Flood risk is one of the key issues addressed in both programmes. Adaptive management planning should rely on a sound ex-ante policy analysis which encompasses a future outlook, establishing whether a policy transition is required, an assessment of alternative flood risk management strategies, and their planning in anticipation without running the risk of regret of doing too little too late or too much too early. This endeavour, addressed as adaptive delta management, calls for new approaches, especially because of uncertainties about long-term future developments. For flood risk management, it also entails reconsideration of the underlying principles and of the application of portfolios of technical measures versus spatial planning and other policy instruments. To this end, we first developed a conceptualisation of flood risk which reconciles the different approaches of flood defence management practice and spatial planning practice in order to bridge the gap between these previously detached fields. Secondly, we looked abroad in order to be better able to reflect critically on a possible Dutch bias which could have resulted from many centuries of experience of successful adaptation to increasing flood risk, but which may no longer be sustainable into the future. In this paper, we explain the multiple conceptualisation of flood risk and argue that explicitly distinguishing exposure determinants as a new concept may help to bridge the gap between engineers and spatial planners, wherefore we show how their different conceptualisations influence the framing of the adaptation challenge. Also, we identify what the Netherlands may learn from neighbouring countries with a different framing of the future flood risk challenge. Copyright The Author(s) 2015

Suggested Citation

  • Frans Klijn & Heidi Kreibich & Hans Moel & Edmund Penning-Rowsell, 2015. "Adaptive flood risk management planning based on a comprehensive flood risk conceptualisation," Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Springer, vol. 20(6), pages 845-864, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:masfgc:v:20:y:2015:i:6:p:845-864
    DOI: 10.1007/s11027-015-9638-z

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

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

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. W. Botzen & J. Bergh & L. Bouwer, 2010. "Climate change and increased risk for the insurance sector: a global perspective and an assessment for the Netherlands," 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. 52(3), pages 577-598, March.
    2. Warren E. Walker, 1986. "The Use of Screening in Policy Analysis," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 32(4), pages 389-402, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


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

    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:transe:v:113:y:2018:i:c:p:99-122 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:spr:masfgc:v:23:y:2018:i:5:d:10.1007_s11027-017-9756-x is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:spr:masfgc:v:23:y:2018:i:7:d:10.1007_s11027-017-9773-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:spr:waterr:v:32:y:2018:i:4:d:10.1007_s11269-017-1875-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Robert Stojanov & Barbora Duží & Tomáš Daněk & Daniel Němec & David Procházka, 2015. "Adaptation to the Impacts of Climate Extremes in Central Europe: A Case Study in a Rural Area in the Czech Republic," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(9), pages 1-29, September.
    6. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:5:p:1399-:d:144171 is not listed on IDEAS


    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:spr:masfgc:v:20:y:2015:i:6:p:845-864. 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: (Sonal Shukla) or (Rebekah McClure). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with 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.