M. van den Hurk
- Water safety and spatial development: An institutional comparison between the United Kingdom and the Netherlands
- Land Use Policy
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
The Netherlands and the United Kingdom are known for their different traditions of river flood risk management, which is reflected in their respective institutional frameworks. Whereas the Dutch have focused almost exclusively on reducing the probability of flooding by defining high safety standards, British flood managers are known for their propensity to influence spatial planning decisions as a means to reduce the potential impacts of flood events. This paper scrutinizes this alleged major difference in institutional arrangements and planning practices, so as to evaluate the room for elements of the risk approach in the Netherlands. Using Ostrom's IAD framework, we analyze the rules-in-use in two cases in which a new hospital is being planned in a flood-prone area. It will be shown that in spite of some important differences observed in the rules-in-use, the Dutch institutional configuration has absorbed several elements of the risk approach, and displays a higher similarity in planning practice to the UK than expected. It thus seems that Dutch flood risk management is gradually evolving into the direction of a more integral approach to water safety in spatial planning.
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