Flood-resilient landscapes: 

area-oriented development with added value 

Read the article

There is increasing pressure on the available space in the Netherlands. It sometimes seems as if different social values and developments are competing with each other for the available space. In order to look at these values and developments in a different way, more as complementary than as competing elements, Deltares has introduced the concept of ‘flood-resilient landscapes’. 

In flood-resilient landscapes, careful thinking goes beforehand into the optimal spatial planning for the future. Reasoning backwards, decisions can be made now that contribute optimally to a desirable situation in the future. In combination, those decisions constitute adaptation or transition pathways.

“The joint approach to this subject is also the result of the collaboration between the Knowledge for Defenses programme, the Strategic Research of Deltares and the Knowledge and Innovation agenda of the HWBP.”

Alessandra Bizzarri, advisor Rijkswaterstaat (Dutch government)

For the ongoing development of flood-resilient landscapes, we seek cooperation with government authorities, other research institutes, NGOs and private parties. In 2022, we will up the pace with assistance from the subsidy for the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality’s project www.waterveiligheidslandschappen.nl that we are working on with Wageningen Environmental Research. That work involves two lines. On a regional scale, we are focusing on the development and application of methodology and instruments in area cases. On the national scale, we are setting up a frame with future typical flood-resilient landscapes and developing generic building blocks. That makes it possible to apply solutions more widely.

“What I really hope is that we will be able to connect all the climate/water themes with each other in an innovative way centred on flood risk management landscapes, and then link them to all the socio-economic themes relating to use.”

Bas van de Pas, Policy Advisor for Flood Risk Management at the provincial authority of North Holland

“We expect flood-resilient landscapes to provide us with ways to link our flood risk management challenges to a broader perspective that is system-oriented and focused on the longer term.” 

KeesJan Leuvenink, Senior Policy Officer for Flood Risk Management, Rhine and IJssel Water Authority