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STrengthening And Redesigning European FLOOD risk practices
Towards appropriate and resilient flood risk governance arrangements

Final Report Summary - STAR-FLOOD (STrengthening And Redesigning European FLOOD risk practices Towards appropriate and resilient flood risk governance arrangements)

Executive Summary:
The EU 7th Framework Project STAR-FLOOD (www.starflood.eu) which ran between 1 October 2012 and 31 March 2016 focused on flood risk governance. The project investigated strategies for dealing with flood risks in 18 vulnerable urban regions in six European countries: Belgium, England, France, the Netherlands, Poland and Sweden. The project assessed flood risk governance arrangements from a combined public administration and legal perspective, with the aim to make European regions more resilient to flood risks.

To analyse, explain, evaluate and design flood risk governance arrangements, within the STAR-FLOOD project an extended problem analysis was carried out (WP1) related to flood risk governance in Europe. WP2 focused on how flood risk governance in Europe can be researched. WP3 formed the empirical core of the project, in which analyses, explanations and evaluations of each country, including three case studies, were performed. These findings formed the main input for the last two Work Packages of STAR-FLOOD, being WP4 and WP5 as well as WP6 (the Work Package on Scientific Integration which ran throughout the project). WP4 focused on a systematic comparison between the STAR-FLOOD consortium countries and WP5 on the identification of design principles for flood risk governance that enhance societal resilience to flooding, make efficient use of resources and are considered to be legitimate. WP6 brought the overall findings of the project together, amogst other things in a final document with main research results and a special feature in Ecology and Society.

Based on the results of these Work Packages, STAR-FLOOD’s main research question was answered, being “What are resilient and appropriate Flood Risk Governance Arrangements (FRGAs) for dealing with flood risks in vulnerable urban agglomerations in Europe?” Answering this research question resulted in seven key conclusions.

These conclusions pertain to:
• The relevance of adopting a governance perspective on flood risk management.
• The extent to which Flood Risk Management Strategies are being diversified and aligned – which is assumed to lead to increased flood resilience – as well as drivers for and barriers to such a diversification.
• The establishment of bridging processes and mechanisms that facilitate linkages between Flood Risk Management Strategies and help overcome fragmentation.
• The roles of actors involved in flood risk governance and the division of responsibilities between public and private actors, including citizens.
• Observed diversification of rules and regulations relevant for flood risk governance and the challenges related to the development of appropriate rules that are enforceable and enforced.
• The resources needed to ensure that governance enhances societal resilience and is carried out in a legitimate and efficient way; and
• Implications for policy and law at the European, national and regional level.

These key conclusions have been laid down in one of STAR-FLOOD’s final deliverables, including the final document with main research results which is downloadable on the project website. This report refers to underlying reports and other deliverables for backing up the key conclusions. Research results have been disseminated both to a scientific and a professional audience in several other ways, including through six country reports; a practitioner’s guide; three policy briefs; several journal articles, including two special features (in progress) in Ecology and Society and in theJournal of Flood Risk Management with 18 foreseen contributions by international and interdisciplinary teams of authors from STAR-FLOOD’s project partners. Besides that, throughout the project many workshops with stakeholders were held, including at least one case study workshop per country, four international workshops, two expert panels with high-level policymakers and practitioners and several sessions organised at conferences, including the Deltas in times of Climate Change II conference in Rotterdam, September 2014 and the Adaptation Futures Conference in Rotterdam, May 2016.

To analyse, explain, evaluate and design flood risk governance arrangements, within the STAR-FLOOD project an extended problem analysis was carried out (WP1) related to flood risk governance in Europe. WP2 focused on how flood risk governance in Europe can be researched. WP3 formed the empirical core of the project, in which analyses, explanations and evaluations of each country, including three case studies, were performed. These findings formed the main input for the last two Work Packages of STAR-FLOOD, being WP4 and WP5 as well as WP6 (the Work Package on Scientific Integration which ran throughout the project). WP4 focused on a systematic comparison between the STAR-FLOOD consortium countries and WP5 on the identification of design principles for flood risk governance that enhance societal resilience to flooding, make efficient use of resources and are considered to be legitimate. WP6 brought the overall findings of the project together, amogst other things in a final document with main research results and a special feature in Ecology and Society.

Based on the results of these Work Packages, STAR-FLOOD’s main research question was answered, being “What are resilient and appropriate Flood Risk Governance Arrangements (FRGAs) for dealing with flood risks in vulnerable urban agglomerations in Europe?” Answering this research question resulted in seven key conclusions.

These conclusions pertain to:
• The relevance of adopting a governance perspective on flood risk management.
• The extent to which Flood Risk Management Strategies are being diversified and aligned – which is assumed to lead to increased flood resilience – as well as drivers for and barriers to such a diversification.
• The establishment of bridging processes and mechanisms that facilitate linkages between Flood Risk Management Strategies and help overcome fragmentation.
• The roles of actors involved in flood risk governance and the division of responsibilities between public and private actors, including citizens.
• Observed diversification of rules and regulations relevant for flood risk governance and the challenges related to the development of appropriate rules that are enforceable and enforced.
• The resources needed to ensure that governance enhances societal resilience and is carried out in a legitimate and efficient way; and
• Implications for policy and law at the European, national and regional level.

These key conclusions have been laid down in one of STAR-FLOOD’s final deliverables, including the final document with main research results which is downloadable on the project website. This report refers to underlying reports and other deliverables for backing up the key conclusions. Research results have been disseminated both to a scientific and a professional audience in several other ways, including through six country reports; a practitioner’s guide; three policy briefs; several journal articles, including two special features (in progress) in Ecology and Society and in theJournal of Flood Risk Management with 18 foreseen contributions by international and interdisciplinary teams of authors from STAR-FLOOD’s project partners. Besides that, throughout the project many workshops with stakeholders were held, including at least one case study workshop per country, four international workshops, two expert panels with high-level policymakers and practitioners and several sessions organised at conferences, including the Deltas in times of Climate Change II conference in Rotterdam, September 2014 and the Adaptation Futures Conference in Rotterdam, May 2016

Project Context and Objectives:
PROJECT CONTEXT

European countries, especially urban areas, face increasing flood risks due to urbanisation and the effects of climate change (Alfieri et al. 2015; Kundzewicz et al. submitted; Winsemius et al. 2015). Of all the natural hazards in Europe, flooding is the most common, and accounts for the largest number of casualties and highest economic damage (Guha-Sapir et al. 2013). Unlike other natural hazards, no European country is free from the risk of flooding. Between 2000 and 2005, Europe suffered nine major flood disasters, which caused 155 casualties and economic losses of more than € 35 billion (Barredo 2007). The 2013 floods in central Europe caused 25 casualties and 15 billion dollar economic damage (according to (re)insurer Munich Re). The Winter 2013/14 flooding in England resulted in 5000 homes flooded and caused 17 casualties and over 2 billion pounds worth of damage. In October 2015 the French Rivièra was severely flooded causing at least 19 casualties and significant damage. These recent events highlight the challenge and importance of improving the flood resilience of societies.

It is increasingly argued that a diversification, coordination and alignment of Flood Risk Management Strategies (FRMSs), including flood risk prevention through pro-active spatial planning, flood defence, flood risk mitigation, flood preparation and flood recovery, will make urban agglomerations more resilient to flood risks (Aerts et al. 2008; Hegger et al. 2014; Innocenti and Albrito 2011; Van den Brink et al. 2011; Wardekker et al. 2010; Wesselink et al. 2015). Diversification in FRMSs is one of the approaches underlying the EU Floods Directive (Directive 2007/60/EC). Diversification is said to require new Flood Risk Governance Arrangements (FRGAs) that should aid the implementation of the strategies.

Besides new FRGAs, a diversification of flood risk management strategies may require changes in existing arrangements and their linking together and alignment (Hegger et al. 2014). Efforts at such a diversification are ongoing in several countries and successful to a varying extent. At the same time, some countries like England have been diversified in the sense that all flood risk management strategies have been established for 65 years and all strategies are regarded as equally important at the national scale. Flood risk governance that enhances societal resilience and is considered efficient and legitimate is of pivotal importance. Effective implementation of flood risk management strategies is considered as a necessary precondition for resilience. To understand how change towards more resilient, legitimate and efficient flood risk governance can be brought about, it is crucial to look at how flood risk governance has evolved in the past. This provides insights into how change can be implemented and into potential entry points as well as barriers to change.

RESEARCH AIMS AND QUESTIONS

STAR-FLOOD’s main research question was: “What are resilient and appropriate Flood Risk Governance Arrangements (FRGAs) for dealing with flood risks in vulnerable urban agglomerations in Europe?” The project investigated how current flood risk governance arrangements can be strengthened or redesigned to enhance societal resilience to flooding. To this end, an assessment has been made as to what extent existing governance arrangements support or constrain the diversification of Flood Risk Management Strategies as well as the extent to which such a diversification of strategies enhances societal resilience to flooding. One of the most encompassing definitions of resilience is the one adopted by the Resilience Alliance, which defines resilience as: ”the ability to absorb disturbances, to be changed and then re-organise and still have the same identity (retain the same basic structure and ways of functioning)” (http://www.resalliance.org/index.php/key_concepts). This definition encompasses multiple capacities of importance for flood resilience, namely the capacity to resist floods, the capacity to absorb floods and to recover from them and the capacity to adapt – including the capacity to learn, improve and experiment – in order to be better prepared for dealing with future floods (Klijn et al. 2008; Liao 2012; Mens et al. 2011).

In the course of the research, STAR-FLOOD used and reflected upon two starting assumptions:

Assumption 1:
Societal resilience to floods is enhanced if multiple Flood Risk Management Strategies are implemented simultaneously and are aligned.

Assumption 2:
A successful implementation of a diverse, resilient, set of FRMSs – requiring a combination of old and new strategies and coordination of different strategies – in a certain area is only possible if these strategies and their coordination are appropriate. They should make efficient use of resources and should be considered legitimate by the actors involved. In so doing, they should ensure proper institutional embedding given the opportunities and constraints of their physical and social context.

Both assumptions reflect current debates in literature and practice regarding a diversification of FRMSs. In these debates it is argued that many countries have a dominant focus on flood defence. It is claimed that not all floods can be prevented and hence that this strategy should be complemented with additional strategies, including flood risk prevention, flood mitigation, flood preparation and flood recovery. Strategies should, however, be implemented in such a way that they fit in their physical and institutional contexts. Important local/regional circumstances that need to be taken into account are: differences in exposure to flood risk; differences in flood experience; differences in normative values; differences in the legal rules governing the distribution of responsibilities and rights to flood protection and differences in the degree of flood awareness present in a society (Ek et al. 2016a).

STAR-FLOOD’s Description of Work also identified 10 sub-questions, which each provide a building block to answering the main research question. The overview below lists these sub-questions and indicates in which stages of the project each question was addressed.

i) Sub-goal ‘identifying’:

1. What are the main trends in and challenges for flood risk governance in Europe?
This sub-question was mainly addressed in Work Package 1. Several goverance challenges were identified related to each of the four dimensions of the Policy Arrangements Approach used throughout the project (Dieperink et al. 2013). The project also highlighted some main insights into the nature of the flood hazard (Green et al. 2013) and in Europan flood regulations (Bakker et al. 2013).

2. What are the key elements of Flood Risk Management Strategies discussed in the literature?
An overview of key interventions for dealing with the flood hazard is provided in Green et al. (2013). An overview of key elements of FRMSs is provided in Dieperink et al. (2013). Implementation challenges related to these FRMSs are discussed in Dieperink et al. (submitted). Elements of FRMSs discussed in European policies are analysed in Bakker et al. (2013).

3. What kind of flood risk governance arrangements are characterised as ‘good practice’ in scientific and policy literature?
In Dieperink et al. (submitted), an overview of theoretical conditions for successful implementation of FRMSs is provided. This paper also identifies eight coordination mechanisms that have proven to be useful for coordinating different strategies.

4. Which Flood Risk Management Strategies are developed and applied in different urban agglomerations in the selected countries?
In all the analysed countries, all the flood risks management strategies (flood risk prevention; flood defence; flood mitigation; flood preparation; and flood recovery) are present but the need for diversification of strategies is evident in all countries except England, where strategies are already diversified. In practice, the implementation of Flood Risk Management Strategies in all countries is lagging behind changing discourses. At the discursive level, the importance of diversification is increasingly emphasised. Practical implementation is often hampered, for instance by path dependencies. Also, capacities to realise the implementation of strategies were found to be lacking (Alexander et al. 2016; Ek et al. 2016; Hegger et al. 2013; Kaufmann et al. 2016; Larrue et al. 2016; Matczak et al. 2016, 2016a; Mees et al. 2016).

ii) Sub-goal ‘analysing’:
5. What are the historical dynamics (or the absence thereof) of FRGAs in the selected countries?
While all FRMSs can be identified at least to some extent in each country, countries differ in the extent to which each strategy has been implemented and for how long. A distinction should be made between (i) countries where diversification is the main approach towards Flood Risk Management as in England. Here, equal importance is attached to all strategies, and the choice for strategies is strategically informed by considerations regarding acceptable levels of risk and the types of flood hazard (e.g. fluvial, coastal) versus (ii) countries in which diversification is seen as the addition of backup strategies to a dominant strategy (e.g. Belgium, France, the Netherlands and Poland) (Alexander et al. 2016; Ek et al. 2016; Kaufmann et al. 2016; Larrue et al. 2016; Matczak et al. 2016, 2016a; Mees et al. 2016).

iii) Sub-goal ‘explaining’:
6. Which factors explain the FRGAs and their dynamics and what is the relative importance of each factor?
Work Packages 3 and 4 showed that both stability and change in flood risk governance arrangements are caused by dynamics within the national FRGA (e.g. policy entrepreneurs, path dependency). These dynamics influence how countries deal with external driving forces, such as land use changes, overall changes in governance (e.g. decentralisation) and climate change (Matczak et al. 2016). A detailed overview of explanatory factors is included in all WP3 reports and in the comparative report in WP4 (Alexander et al. 2016; Ek et al. 2016; Kaufmann et al. 2016; Larrue et al. 2016; Matczak et al. 2016, 2016a; Mees et al. 2016).

iv) Sub-goal ‘evaluating’:
7. What are the main building blocks to specify the meta-criteria of appropriateness and resilience into an assessment framework for FRGAs, what kind of indicators could be derived from these building blocks and how can these indicators be measured?
STAR-FLOOD discerned three facets through which societal resilience can be assessed; these include i) the capacity to resist flooding (i.e. minimise the likelihood and/or magnitude of the flood hazard), ii) the capacity to absorb and recover from a flood event and iii) the capacity to adapt (including the capacity to learn, innovate and improve). Through this aspect of evaluation we examined the starting assumption of the project and examined the extent to which a diversified set of FRMSs are embedded within flood risk governance within each country; and in turn, the extent to which this is shown to support societal resilience to flooding at the national and case study scale. Legitimacy was also approached as a multi-faceted concept and operationalised via several criteria, including social equity, accountability, transparency, participation, access to information, procedural justice and acceptability (Alexander et al. 2015; Alexander et al., submitted).

8. What are the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of FRGAs in the selected EU member states in terms of their appropriateness and resilience?
In each Work Package 3 report, an overview has been provided of each country’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (Alexander et al. 2016; Ek et al. 2016; Kaufmann et al. 2016; Larrue et al. 2016; Matczak et al. 2016; Mees et al. 2016). This has been further specified and compared in Hegger et al. (submitted).

9. What are the main similarities and differences between the selected EU Member States in terms of development and performance of FRGAs? What is the scientific and societal importance of these similarities and differences?
An overview of the main similarities and differences between the countries in terms of the development and performance of FRGAs has been provided in Matczak et al. (2016a). A comparison of their performance has been provided in Ek et al. (2016a) and Hegger et al. (submitted).

v) Main goal ‘designing’:
10. Which design principles can be derived from the analysis, explanation and evaluation of our cases?
Based on all preceding Work Packages, WP 5 identified design principles which have been laid down, amongst other reports, in Ek et al. (2016a). Furthermore, a publicly available practitioners’ guide has been developed.


Project Results:

1. INTRODUCTION

As highlighted in the previous section, STAR-FLOOD addressed ten sub-questions, all of which contributed to answering the project’s main question: “what are appropriate and resilient flood risk governance arrangements for dealing with flood risks in vulnerable urban agglomerations in Europe?” The sub-questions were addressed in Work Packages 1-5. The main research question was answered in the final document with main research results (D6.4). There, the answer to the main research question was presented by discussing the following six key conclusions:
• Necessity and importance of diversification of Flood Risk Management Strategies.
• Enhancing connectivity by bridging actors, levels and sectors.
• Involvement of governments, businesses, NGOs and citizens in flood risk governance.
• Rules and regulations for flood risk governance.
• Effective and efficient mobilization of available resources.
• Evaluations of flood risk governance in terms of resilience, efficiency and legitimacy.

Based on these key conclusions, and on a broader reflection of the research approach, we also identified implications for policies and law from the European to the local level, derived lessons with regard to STAR-FLOOD’s research approach and identified issues for follow-up research. These issues will be presented as follows. First, we elaborate on the relevance of a governance perspective on flood risk management (section 2). This elaboration is followed by a brief introduction of each of the six key conclusions of the STAR-FLOOD project (section 3). Next, we present the implications of our research for policies and law from the European to the local level (section 4), reflect on STAR-FLOOD’s research approach (section 5) and sketch issues for further research (section 6).

2 THE RELEVANCE OF A GOVERNANCE PERSPECTIVE ON FLOOD RISK MANAGEMENT

For a long time a natural and technical science perspective has dominated the research on Flood Risk Management. When the Floods Directive (Directive 2007/60/EC) was being developed, the directive text was drawing significantly on findings from projects carried out within the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) in the period 2002-2007 (Kundzewicz et al. 2015, submitted). In particular, the FLOOD-site project provided a scientific foundation for the directive text adopted in 2007. Subsequent projects provided enhanced knowledge on climate change impacts, e.g. the WATCH project and regional assessments, for instance in the Mediterranean area with the CIRCE project (ibid). In FP7 in 2007-2013, research was more focused on implementation issues, e.g. related to improved early warning of flash floods with the IMPRINTS project, and disentangling the notion of flood resilience within the CORFU project (ibid. See also: Quaevauviller 2011). A graphical depiction of the interrelationships between the projects is provided in figure 1.

Figure 1: overview of integrated projects funded by the European Commission (source: Philippe Quevauviller). [this figure has been uploaded as an attachment]

Other issues addressed in previous European research projects included, amongst other things, technologies for improved safety of the built environment (FLOODprobe/SMARTeST); the costs of natural hazards (ConHaz); integrated multi-hazard vulnerability assessment (ENSURE); social capacity building (CapHaz-Net); adaptive water management under uncertainty (NeWater); emergency management (UrbanFlood), risk assessments, future scenarios and technical measures (IRMA SPONGE, FLOODsite and HYDRATE). Although some programmes, like NeWater, have addressed social-scientific research questions, social-scientific, comparative European institutional and legal studies on flood risk management are still rare, fragmented and limited in scope and are mostly carried out at the national level and within the national legal context.

Flood risk management is not only a technical issue of building flood defences and developing flood warning systems. It is also a matter of activating governmental and non-governmenal actors, stimulating fruitful cooperation between these actors, putting the right legal, economic and communicative instruments in place, securing connectivity between relevant policy sectors and between administrative levels, enhancing risk awareness among societal groups, and provoking societal debates on future perspectives and associated transformative pathways. In order to improve flood resilience in the face of urbanisation and climate change, a governance perspective has complementary insights to offer (Hegger et al. 2014; Dieperink et al. Submitted). It tests governing actors’ abilities to collaborate, tests the presence and efficacy of policy instruments, provides understanding of the mechanisms through which strategies, actors, levels and sectors can be bridged and may inspire changes in societal debates and institutional settings. Change may require specific resources (finance, knowledge), legal changes and/or coordination to ensure a clear division of responsibilities and the presence of a legal framework that enables the implementation and enforcement of newly developed flood risk policies and approaches. All this has to take place in adherence to normative values and principles held in societies, which may include effectiveness, legitimacy, social equity, transparency, subsidiarity and efficiency. A better insight into governance challenges and the conditions that may help address them is relevant for societal actors that have the ambition to diversify FRMSs in order to improve resilience.

To reach the desired outcome of improving societal resilience to flooding, governance is pivotal. This is reflected in adaptive governance literature (e.g. Chaffin et al. 2014: 64) in which it is argued that “adaptive governance is essential for dealing with complexity and uncertainty associated with rapid global environmental change. Social ecological systems should be managed holistically to either increase resistance to undesirable change or to transform a system to a more desirable state”. Adaptive governance is seen as a precondition for achieving adaptive management (ibid), which can be understood as the enabling of “...a social-ecological system to sustain itself through learning-by-doing and cooperation and to avoid collapse, while enhancing a system’s capacity to respond to changing circumstances” (Den Uyl and Driessen 2015: 189). This perspective sees adaptability as a pre-condition of resilient systems, and emphasises change. This literature on adaptive governance often stresses that system resilience will benefit from a variety of pathways or strategies. Scholars stress diversity, polycentricity and flexibility (e.g. Folke et al. 2005, Pahl-Wostl et al. 2007).

Just like other water-related challenges (e.g. OECD 2014), there is no one-size-fits-all solution for addressing flood risk governance challenges. The STAR-FLOOD project has, however, increased our understanding of flood risk governance practices, explained and evaluated these practices, and – based on these insights – formulated design principles and conditions for improving flood risk governance in different contexts. This was the reason for devising our second starting assumption on appropriateness, i.e. that a successful implementation of a diverse, resilient, set of FRSs – requiring a combination of old and new strategies and coordination of different strategies – in a certain area is only possible if these strategies and their coordination are seen as efficient and legitimate by the actors involved and hence are properly institutionally embedded given the opportunities and constraints of their physical and social context.

Concretely, the STAR-FLOOD project has developed the following types of contributions to the state or the art of (flood risk) governance and legal literature. It has provided insights into:
• Stimulating and hampering factors for a diversification of flood risk management strategies (see also: Aerts et al. 2008; Hegger et al. 2014; Innocenti and Albrito 2011; Van den Brink et al. 2011; Wardekker et al. 2010; Wesselink et al. 2015);
• The necessity to coordinate and align these strategies and the importance of bridging mechanisms (see also: Koskenniemi and Leio 2002; Rijke et al. 2013; Voss et al. 2007);
• The characterisation of flood risk governance arrangements and sub-arrangements in various countries and essential similarities and differences (see also: Bubeck et al. 2015; Matczak et al. 2016a);
• The functioning and implementation of the Floods Directive in six European countries (see also: Bakker et al. 2013; Hartmann and Driessen 2013; Priest et al. submitted);
• The necessary interrelationship between flood risk management and spatial planning and between flood risk management and emergency management (see also: Hartmann and Driessen 2013; Gilissen et al., submitted; Kolen and Helsloot 2014);
• How literature on social-ecological resilience can be specified for the floods domain and the factors stimulating and hampering enhanced flood resilience (see also: Alexander et al. 2015; Hegger et al. submitted; Folke 2006; Klijn et al. 2008; Mens et al. 2011);
• The functioning of formal rules and regulations and the tension between legal certainty and flexibility (see also: Van Rijswick and Havekes 2012; Goytia et al. submitted).
• Divisions of responsibilities between public and private parties (the public-private divide) (see also: Meijerink and Dicke 2008; Runhaar et al. 2014; Mees et al. 2014; Mees et al. submitted).

3 SIX KEY CONCLUSIONS ON WHAT CONSTITUTES APPROPRIATE GOVERNANCE ARRANGEMENTS THAT ENHANCE THE FLOOD RESILIENCE OF URBAN REGIONS

3.1 NECESSITY AND IMPORTANCE OF DIVERSIFICATION OF FRMSS

• Countries differ in their approaches to diversification. In the Netherlands, Poland, France and Belgium, we see a desire to create a back-up layer of contingency. England has been diversified for 65 years, while Sweden is currently diversifying due to climate change concerns.
• In most cases, the practical on the ground implementation of diversified strategies is lagging behind intentions as laid down in discussions and policy plans.
• Main drivers for diversification are: policy entrepreneurs; bottom-up initiatives by local stakeholders; a broader discursive shift towards sustainability and resilience; the presence of enforceable rules and regulations; the availability of financial resources; technical improvements; broader shifts ‘from government to governance’; and Europeanisation.
• Main barriers for diversification are: a lack of resources and path dependency.
• Floods as trigger events have been found to contribute both to stability and change, but under different circumstances.
• To be resilient, a country should have the capacity to resist, absorb and recover and to adapt.
• To enhance societal resilience to flooding, diversification of flood risk management strategies (FRMSs) is both necessary and important. Diversity of FRMSs in itself is not enough, though, to guarantee societal resilience, indeed each strategy must be effective in its own right.
• Sufficient investment in each chosen strategy needs to be provided. Spreading of resources leading to an underinvestment in all strategies should be avoided.

3.2 ENHANCING CONNECTIVITY BY BRIDGING ACTORS, LEVELS AND SECTORS

• Diversification of FRM strategies may lead to fragmentation between actors, levels and sectors, causing inefficiencies and ineffectiveness and possibly undermining societal resilience.
• To some extent, fragmentation between sectors may be overcome, provided that further learning, cooperation and exchange within and between countries takes place, however, it is realistic to expect that the problem of fragmentation cannot be fully solved.
• Bridging processes and mechanisms are needed between several FRM strategies, including coordinating actors; procedural duties and instruments; formal rules and regulations; financial and knowledge resources and bridging concepts. Especially spatial planning and the insurance sector could play a vital role in this respect.
• Decentralisation may help in bridging different levels of government to ensure a good combination of top-down and bottom-up governance, however provided that the shifting of financial and executive tasks is accompanied by a shifting of formal powers and resources.

3.3 INVOLVEMENT OF GOVERNMENTS, BUSINESSES, NGOS AND CITIZENS IN FLOOD RISK GOVERNANCE

• The involvement of private parties, including businesses, citizens and NGOs in flood risk governance is necessary both for substantive and normative reasons.
• To enhance flood resilience, the input of a diverse set of resources and capacities is needed, which are not all available within governmental institutions. Instead, several private actors on a spectrum from fully private companies to quasi commercial actors (e.g. English utility companies which are privatised but heavily regulated) should be involved. Also citizens are crucial actors in flood risk management. In their capacity of residents they can take actions in and around their own home, e.g. decreasing the amount of hardened surface, and flood proofing their houses.
• In Europe, participation in decision-making is considered important (Aarhus convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters), therefore governments cannot steer exclusively in a top-down fashion but need to involve other actors in decision-making.
• Open, broad (political and societal) debate about the division of responsibilities between public and private actors is needed, leading to more clearly defined roles for governments/businesses/NGOs/citizens.
• We suggest interpreting public-private cooperation as ‘comprehensive multi-actor co-production’ in the sense of further developed forms of participation, public private partnerships and self-realisation. This interpretation seems more productive than the, much more narrow, interpretation of ‘letting market parties/companies do more in flood risk governance’.

3.4 RULES AND REGULATIONS FOR FLOOD RISK GOVERNANCE

• Diversification of Flood Risk Management Strategies is accompanied by a diversification in rules and regulations. However, in some cases a lack of rules can be witnessed, especially in cases in which certain strategies have not yet been implemented to a significant extent.
• The Floods Directive (Directive 2007/60/EC) has facilitated the implementation of FRM strategies in all STAR-FLOOD countries, except England, but especially in those countries where FRM is not yet mature (including Sweden and Poland).
• The current scope of the Floods Directive, which poses non-substantive requirements to EU Member States, is in general appropriate in the sense of being in line with the normative principle of subsidiarity and the existing diversity in terms of existing approaches to flood risk management.
• In International River Basin Districts, the FD could go further in setting forth cooperation requirements between states sharing these Districts and to provide clarity on important concepts in the Directive.
• In other cases of implementing the FD, procedural requirements should be refined and some substantive requirements could be added, so that they force MSs to adopt principles of good flood risk governance. It would also be worthwhile to critically re-evaluate the content of the FD for enforceability by citizens and to make clear what they can ask for in the courts. It was also found that sometimes time pressures arising from the need to timely finalise flood risk management plans restricted the room for maneuver of local initiatives.
• According to the subsidiarity principle, devolution of decision-making to the lowest appropriate scale, with collaboration and coordination at the highest level necessary should be strived for. This principle is widely endorsed, not only at the level of the EU but also at the national level in many European countries. The principle is essentially a political choice based on knowledge that multi-level governance works better to create legitimacy and resilience. But this goes with fragmentation and the fragmentation should be addressed in a way that it doesn’t hamper effective or legitimate flood risk management.

3.5 EFFECTIVE AND EFFICIENT MOBILIZATION OF AVAILABLE RESOURCES

• Different types of resources (finance, knowledge, skills, ICT tools, public support) should be mobilised efficiently. At the same time, resource availability should be increased, if possible.
• The availability of resources for different flood risk management strategies differs significantly between countries: the quality of knowledge infrastructure and the structure of funding systems also varies. This may be problematic since the lack of resources was shown to be an important reason for underinvestment in and underdevelopment of FRM strategies.
• An important policy issue for the coming years will be to have political debate and make political choices in order to combine the (perceived and sometimes already legally settled) ‘right to be protected’ of citizens by public authorities with the decreasing resource base many public authorities are facing.
• Resources may also play a key role in bridging, for instance by ensuring that actors involved have the necessary skills, and that private actors receive sufficient payment to increase their willingness to let their land function as flood storage.

3.6 EVALUATIONS OF FLOOD RISK GOVERNANCE IN TERMS OF RESILIENCE, EFFICIENCY AND LEGITIMACY

• In terms of STAR-FLOOD’s first starting assumption, we found that diversification of strategies can be seen as a necessary but not sufficient precondition for enhancing societal resilience to floods.
• We stress that resilience should be disentangled into three capacities: the capacity to resist flooding, the capacity to absorb/recover when a flood event occurs and the capacity to adapt to future risks. These are to be seen as different views on desired outcomes for flood risk governance and have been found to be to some extent mutually exclusive (e.g. over-investment in one strategy can be at the expense of investment in other strategies).
• Resilience is closely linked to the notion of appropriateness: desired outcomes in terms of resilience should be considered in the light of physical circumstances and existing institutional and social contexts.
• To some extent a high score on one capacity (to resist) may undermine that of other capacities (e.g. absorb and recover).
• The presence (or the absence) of links between strategies has turned out to be a crucial factor explaining countries’ achievements in all three capacities.
• Enhancing societal resilience requires sufficient investment in each of these strategies and alertness to the risk of underinvestment in all of them.
• Efforts to improve resource efficiency by increased application of (societal) Cost Benefit Analyses are underway in different countries, albeit to a different extent. These CBAs were found to contribute to resource efficiency, but in some countries were perceived as rather technocratic.
• The researched countries are doing well on access to information and transparency; procedural justice and accountability. The most potential for improvement lies with the criteria of social equity; public participation and acceptability by all actors involved.

4 IMPLICATIONS FOR POLICIES AND LAW FROM THE EUROPEAN TO THE LOCAL LEVEL

4.1 INTRODUCTION

Based on results of the evaluation of flood risk governance in terms of the extent to which it enhances societal resilience to flooding, resource efficiency and legitimacy, success conditions have been identified (Ek et al. 2016a) which can be formulated as design principles. Key terms are defined in box 1 below.

Box 1: defining successful flood risk governance; success conditions and design principles (see Ek et al. 2016a)
• ‘Successful’ flood risk governance is understood as governance that achieves the desired outcomes of resilience, efficiency and legitimacy.
• Success conditions are those institutions, procedures, rule-types, resources etc. that need to be in place in order to successfully deliver different aspects of flood risk governance. These can be translated into concrete recommendations.
• Design principles are understood as sub-objectives which are supposed to contribute to the achievement of overall goals.

We make a distinction between design principles for improving flood risk governance processes on the one hand, and more specific design principles and good practices related to each of the three desired outcomes (societal resilience to flooding, resource efficiency and legitimacy) on the other hand. The former will be discussed in section 3.2. These are more encompassing than the latter, since they are not only dealing with the question of how specific desired outcomes can be reached, but also with the question of which outcomes are desired by and for whom? Furthermore, these recommendations may be conducive to several desired outcomes simultaneously. The more specific principles in sub-section 3.3 on the other hand, focus more on the ‘how’ question.

4.2 DESIGN PRINCIPLES FOR IMPROVING FLOOD RISK GOVERNANCE PROCESSES

This section discusses eight design principles for improving flood risk governance processes. After introducing each principle, challenges related to its implementation are discussed, as well as concrete recommendations for addressing these challenges.

Societal actors, including public authorities, businesses, community groups and NGOs should be clear about the flood risks they are facing, the level of protection that is present and about how responsibilities for handling them have been divided.
Societal actors generally endorse this principle. It is also a principle to which public authorities need to comply in order to act in line with the Aarhus Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters. Implementing it is, however, challenging. Public authorities are still struggling with how to undertake risk communication, and in several countries a lack of risk awareness amongst private parties has been witnessed. Amongst other things, following flood events it is tempting for politicians to promote a ‘defence paradigm’, yet this is sometimes at odds with national policy and academic consensus that a risk-based approach is the best way forward. In order to deal with this challenge, we recommend the following:
• Politicians and decision makers at different governmental levels should make the effort to pro-actively communicate which levels of flood risk, both in terms of probability and potential consequences, societal actors are facing. They furthermore need to make explicit to what level of support by authorities societal actors are currently entitled both by law and by custom. This will bring debate on acceptable levels of risk and the question of who is responsible for dealing with them into the open and ensure that businesses, community groups and citizens know what to expect.
• We recommend having on open, broad (political and societal) debate about shifting responsibilities between public and private actors. The outcome of the debate should lead to more clearly defined roles for governments/citizens, to be laid down in documents that are open for public consultation and public scrutiny.
• Public acceptance of FRM policy is challenged by the occurrence of flood events and subsequent ‘politicisation of floods’. Authorities cannot wait for risk communication until a flood occurs. On the other hand, although very challenging, improving “water consciousness” should be continuously on the agenda.
• Managing societal expectations is key. There is a need to promote consistency in communication from the EU, national to local scale.

Flood-relevant policies should adopt a forward planning approach and take into account future changes, including climate change.
• Climate change projections should be embedded in FRM policy (and vice versa) to support forward-planning, e.g. in national policy strategies, planning documents through to the design of defence schemes (e.g. adaptive management is advocated). A long-term strategic approach (ca. 50 to 100 years) to decision-making is needed that enables adaptability and flexibility (because of uncertainty) to ensure that future risks and uncertainties are accounted for.

Knowledge infrastructures should be developed, and joint knowledge production processes and cultures of learning should be stimulated.
Institutional cultures for learning appear to be well-established within several STAR-FLOOD countries, but there are limited opportunities for exchanging these lessons within and between countries, especially between research and practitioner communities. Conferences, workshops and research consortiums are one way of transferring knowledge but often exclude practitioners. The outputs from projects, such as policy briefs and the Practitioner’s Guidebook developed within STAR-FLOOD, provide an important means of disseminating research findings in an accessible way, but do not enable the active exchange of ideas and dialogue. Hence, to further stimulate joint learning, we recommend:
• To establish a flood risk governance knowledge exchange platform, nationally and internationally

Private actors, including business, community groups and citizens should adopt partial responsibility for their own risk.
Engagement of private parties is needed, both for substantive and for normative reasons. Also public-private synergies in the context of recovery are relevant, e.g. in Belgium where private insurance is dominant, with a public fall-back mechanism. Here, cooperation between the two entities is important. A lack of risk awareness, a lack of incentives for engaging in FRM and, often, the existence of specific rights or customs regarding divisions of responsibilities is hampering public-private cooperation. Also, while the European Commission has a large interest in stimulating public-private partnerships, in our research we did not find many examples of these and hence further insights regarding how state-business and state-society partnerships should be designed, how they could be useful and how they could enhance capability are still needed. In some cases, partnerships may even have negative effects (even more stakeholders). To address these challenges, we recommend:
• To interpret public-private cooperation as ‘multi-actor coproduction’. This includes co-planning whereby citizens participate in the decision-making process of FRM measures, e.g. development of river basin management plan, emergency plan; co-delivery: participation of citizens in the implementation of FRM measures, e.g. flood protection measures at household-level; and comprehensive co-production: participation of citizens in both the decision-making and implementation of FRM measures, e.g. development of FRM plan in cooperation with residents, whereby both citizens and authorities are responsible for the implementation of certain measures (Mees et al. submitted). Co-production can be set up in the pursuit of societal resilience, but also to increase efficiency and distribute responsibilities more equitably.

Flood risks should be dealt with at multiple scales and flood risk governance should take place at the most appropriate level.
A multi-scale approach is needed as well as efforts to mitigate flooding at the property and community scale, either through the implementation of property-level measures to enhance capacities to resist flooding, or through preparatory activities to enhance capacities to respond and recover. To achieve this aim, the subsidiarity principle is often adhered to. This principle implies that governance should take place at most appropriate level, being the lowest level possible, but the highest level necessary. Applying subsidiarity is challenging, however. On one side, in some cases flood risk management within European countries still follows a strong top-down approach, complicating the development of approaches tailored to local situations. On the other side, subsidiarity is easily equated with ‘decentralisation’. However, decentralisation is only subsidiarity to the extent that devolution of powers to lower levels of government can be said to be appropriate and is accompanied with devolution of the necessary resources. In order to achieve the right balance between bottom-up and top-down steering, we recommend the following:
• National governments and the EU have an important role to play by supporting (funding & expertise) and approving flood risk policy planning at regional level (preferably within hydrological boundaries). Local, tailor-made solutions should be stimulated and facilitated since these are often the best way of detangling multi-actor, multi-sector and multi-level governance problems in flood risk governance.
• The EU should support local developments by providing a subsidy system for stakeholder platforms at catchment scale. These platforms include all relevant stakeholders in the sub-catchment and draft a flood risk management plan based on their objectives, which is (financially) supported by EU/national governments (see also: Benson et al. 2012).

Flood risks should be taken into account in spatial planning and receive the level of priority that is in line with what society considers acceptable levels of risk.
Taking flood risks into account in spatial planning is challenging for different reasons. There are different experiences with the extent to which local leaders give sufficient priority to flood risks. While there are good examples of policy entrepreneurs promoting a water sensitive approach to urban development (e.g. in Dordrecht) also counter-examples can be given, and in France the mayor of a small seaside village was even sentenced to four years in prison for behaving irresponsibly towards flood risks. The STAR-FLOOD project has furthermore found that there is an intricate link between the strategies of flood recovery and those of flood prevention and mitigation. It was found that in some cases strong recovery mechanisms may dis-incentivise prevention and mitigation, and that recovery systems should focus on preventive and mitigation measures at individual property level. For instance, the CAT-NAT system in France has been found to discourage prevention. Also in Belgium, risk prevention is promoted through the legislative insurance framework, which discourages building in high-risk areas. Moreover, we cannot ignore the legacy of past decision-making or the fact that extensive development has already taken place in areas at flood risk. In order to make next steps in reconciling flood management and spatial planning, we recommend:
• To use flood zones to direct planning decisions.
• To discourage future development in areas at high risk of flooding.
• To put provisions in place for cases in which development in flood risk areas cannot be avoided. It should be made clear who is responsible for damage (this could be the project developers who have a stake in developing an area), and it needs to be ensured that development is adaptive (e.g. raised floor heights, use of SUDS) to minimise future damages should a flood occur.
• Strategies for ‘retrofitting adaptation’ are required.
• If no further development is allowed in an area, this may lead to unintended consequences such as economic and social deterioration. Policy makers should be aware of these consequences and should develop novel ways of fair burden sharing.

Formal flood-relevant rules and regulations should be clear for all involved, enforceable and enforced.
There is sometimes a lack of clarity of rules. Legal frameworks could more explicitly mention when and for what they are applicable. This is especially needed with regard to the development of the multi layered safety of combined strategies. Furthermore, what is needed is enforcement of the rules we have, for instance, as we have seen, in the field of spatial planning. In some countries, changes in legislation have proven to be a problem in itself. This is exemplified by Poland, a country that after the transition of 1989 went through massive administrative and legal changes. To improve the working of rules and regulations, we recommend:
• To improve enforcement mechanisms in spatial planning through legal instruments. This also requires political will to enforce legislation (see the next design principle), increased powers within competent authorities and detailed guidance on building on the floodplain, to name a few. Legal frameworks should pay as much attention to the scope of the legal instrument as to how the instrument should be implemented, followed up and what the consequences are in the case of non-compliance.
• There is a need to establish incentives for better cooperation between actors operating within distinct spatial planning and FRM policy domains (e.g. as seen in England) and deliver a more integrated approach.

More experience should be gained with applying catchment-based approaches to FRM
The value of applying cross-sectoral Catchment-Based Approaches (CaBA) currently encouraged in water and environmental policy continues to be debated in the FRM field. Further evidence is required to demonstrate the effectiveness of this approach for alleviating flood risk and its potential for maximising the efficient use of resources. In principle, there are various opportunities for trans-boundary flood risk governance to lead to more flood resilience. Adopting the normative starting point that flood risks should not only be addressed locally but also considered at the basin scale, trans-boundary flood risk governance is desirable and moreover required by the Floods Directive and one of the reasons for EU action. STAR-FLOOD, admittedly, has not explicitly addressed transboundary flood risk governance (e.g. the work of the Rhine, Meuse and Scheldt commissions) as such but has focused on flood risk governance at the country and case study level. Nevertheless, we find it surprising that we came across relatively few examples of transboundary FRG, and there still seems to be much room for improvement in terms of enhancing trans-boundary cooperation in flood risk management. Hence, we recommend the following:
• Public and private actors at different levels need to initiate, carry out and facilitate practical experiments and engage in knowledge exchange regarding the further stimulation of catchment-based approaches to FRM.

4.3 DESIGN PRINCIPLES FOR IMPROVING FLOOD RISK GOVERNANCE OUTCOMES

Specific design principles for enhancing the desired outcomes of resilience, efficiency and legitimacy have been formulated. These have been identified within Work Package 5 of STAR-FLOOD (see also: Ek et al. 2016a). In this Work Package, the country-specific evaluations of resilience, efficiency and legitimacy were compared and based on this a number of factors that support or constrain societal resilience to flooding amongst the STAR-FLOOD countries have been revealed.

Resilience should be disentangled into the capacity to resist, to absorb and recover, and to learn and innovate (see also chapter 1). Table 9.1 provides an overview of the three capacities and the related design principles (left-hand column). For each design principle, success conditions (see p. 55 for a definition) have been identified. The right-hand column provides some concrete examples of good practices that were found to increase the chance of meeting the success conditions.

Table 1: Design principles, success conditions and examples related to enhancing societal resilience to floods (Ek et al. 2016a) [table has been uploaded as separate file]

Table 2 provides an overview of design principles and success conditions for improving resource efficiency. The right-hand column provides some concrete examples.

Table 2: design principles, success conditions and examples for improving resource efficiency (Ek et al. 2016a) [table has been uploaded as a separate file]

Table 3 provides an overview of design principles and success conditions for improving legitimacy. The right-hand column provides some concrete examples.

Table 3: design principles, success conditions and examples for improving legitimacy (Ek et al. 2016a)

4.4 OVERALL RECOMMENDATIONS ON APPROPRIATE AND RESILIENT FLOOD RISK GOVERNANCE ARRANGEMENTS

Social scientific and legal research, especially governance research, on FRM had received limited attention vis-à-vis natural science research. Adopting a governance perspective has been shown to provide important complementary insights that may help to improve FRM approaches in different countries. As we discussed in this report, improving societal resilience to floods implies increasing the capacity to resist, to absorb and recover and to adapt. This makes demands on the flood risk governance arrangements that are put in place to realise these desired outcomes of flood risk governance. For that reason, STAR-FLOOD’s main research question, addressed throughout this report, was: “what are appropriate and resilient flood risk governance arrangements for dealing with flood risks in vulnerable urban agglomerations in Europe?”. In response to this main research question, the following overall recommendations can be formulated:
• While we can endorse approaches aimed at diversification of flood risk management strategies based on our research, these approaches should fit within the existing national and local context. Countries differ in their approaches to diversification. In the Netherlands, Poland, France and Belgium, we see a desire to create a back-up layer of contingency. England has been diversified for 65 years, while Sweden is currently diversifying due to climate change concerns. These existing approaches form the starting point and need to be taken into account to provide the contextual understanding necessary for governance changes to be implemented.
• Steering at different levels of government (EU, national, regional/local and trans-boundary) is necessary, but with a clear division of tasks and responsibilities. Besides that, the role of citizens, NGOs and businesses should be considered. Increased experimentation with public-private partnerships is needed to demonstrate the ability and effectiveness of these partnerships within FRM.
• There is a need to develop connectivity between different flood risk management strategies, between governmental levels and between flood-relevant policy domains such as spatial planning and crisis management. A better coordinated and complementary (rather than undermining) suite of strategies will ensure effective flood risk management. This requires different types of bridging mechanisms: coordinating actors; procedural duties and instruments; formal rules and regulations; financial and knowledge resources and bridging concepts.
• Linked to the point above, diversification of flood risk management strategies needs to be accompanied with suitable investments in the development of these strategies. Financial investments and other resources inputted into one strategy should not lead to under-investment in other strategies. Diversification also implies investments in legal frameworks, for instance building requirements in the field of spatial planning or emergency management frameworks.
• Legitimacy is a well-established principle of good governance and seen as essential for effective governance. It requires enhancement of public participation in policy making and increased flood awareness of citizens. Greater attention in policies and legislation needs to be paid to how effective participation, rather than consultation, can be delivered.
• Flood risk governance arrangements require long-term planning (visioning) to underscore adaptive approaches and to enable the sustainable use of resources. The short-term measures should be delivered part of this longer-term perspective on flood risk management. Proactive, rather than reactive responses, to flooding are required.
• The Floods Directive has a greater role to play in stimulating the development of appropriate flood risk governance arrangements that increase societal resilience to floods. For instance, for the next implementation round of the FD, a substantive requirement regarding the content of Flood Risk Management Plans should be added to explicitly address the issue of responsibilities of actors. Bridging mechanisms could also to some extent be included in the FD, for instance the duty of property sellers to inform potential buyers of flood risks (as is currently the case in the Flemish Region). Second, it would be worthwhile to critically re-evaluate the content of the FD for enforceability by citizens and to make clear what they can ask for in the courts. Furthermore, the FD should further stimulate transboundary flood risk governance.

Overall, our research has shown that there are no one size fits all solutions. Besides physical/geographical factors, historical flood risk management, societal and cultural norms, administrative and legal frameworks are all important factors that influence flood risk management and governance. Contextual, historical and contemporary flood risk debates all have implications for how policies and legal frameworks should be shaped and the desirable scope of European policies and funding schemes.

5 REFLECTION ON STAR FLOOD’S RESEARCH APPROACH

5.1 KEY FEATURES OF THE APPROACH

STAR-FLOOD’s research approach had the following key features:
• The project combined social-scientific and legal approaches, achieving dialogue and synergy between multiple disciplines.
• The project made comparisons between countries and case studies, whereby all researchers used a similar framework for analysis, explanation and evaluation.
• The work was carried out in close cooperation with stakeholders at the European, national, regional and local level. Throughout the project they were involved in workshops (e.g. case study workshops in each country, two expert panels; four international workshops and various additional sessions at conferences) and over three hundred interviews. During the project, the scope of the workshops shifted from collecting information and identifying the knowledge needs of stakeholders towards disseminating research findings and validating research results.

In order to achieve dialogue between the involved disciplines, maximise comparability of the findings and link the research to policy and practice, we chose for intensive forms of cooperation. Researchers within the project had frequent exchanges of ideas with other researchers, both within and across the participating countries; the coordinator provided frequent feedback on draft products produced by all (including through several visits to all partners); a common conceptual and methodological starting point was developed in Work Package 2, with the Policy Arrangements Approach as an overall framework for combining the input of researchers from various disciplines; and meetings were held very frequently, both in the form of plenary consortium meetings and in the form of Academic Master Classes (AMCs). Besides that, also frequent workshops with stakeholders were held, as reported in Choryński et al. (2016); Ek et al. (2016b); Hegger et al. (2014a); and Hegger et al. (2016). Overall the approach used appeared to be very fruitful, but also time consuming.

5.2 STRENGHTS AND POINTS FOR IMPROVEMENT OF THE RESEARCH APPROACH

The STARFLOOD approach was evaluated by the partners during the final consortium meeting (March 2016). Based on this evaluation, the following strengths and points of improvement were identified.


Strengths of STAR-FLOOD’s research approach

Partners and coordinator shared the overall impression of a successful and well-coordinated project. Strong points that were emphasised by several partners are:
• Intensive interactions between the involved researchers, including workshops and meetings in different cities. Researchers indicated that these intensive interactions fostered mutual understanding, amongst other things in terms of each other’s disciplinary approaches and of the specificities of FRM systems in the different countries. An atmosphere was created in which such issues are not taken for granted, but on the other hand questioned along with approaches from other countries.
• Learning and training by junior researchers. The various forms of cooperation, in particular the Academic Master Classes, were highly valued. These provided the junior researchers in the project with training in various relevant research skills, including: theoretical approaches for policy and legal analysis; public administration and legal approaches for evaluating governance; skills in setting up comparative research; doing discourse analysis; setting up workshops; and writing and publishing papers.
• Good complementarities. The different disciplines involved in the project as well as the specific expertise of some partners were seen as complementary and enriching.
• Good atmosphere. All in all, the atmosphere of working together was evaluated as very positive.
• Strict intermediary deadlines. An approach was chosen in which partners had to make available intermediary products at specific moments, to allow for frequent exchange and feedback. In general, this approach was endorsed.

Points of improvement

Partners indicated the following points of improvement:
• Be stricter on key definitions early stage of the project. Key definitions of important concepts were discussed frequently. Amongst other things, a glossary of key terms was developed by the coordinator with input from all partners, providing an overview of different interpretations of concepts. Halfway the project, in April 2014, this document was finalised and included for each concept a recommended interpretation for the purpose of the STAR-FLOOD project. The development of this glossary was endorsed, but it was suggested that later projects could come up with a recommended definition in an earlier stage in the project to minimise conceptual confusion.
• Start earlier with comparisons, lessons/recommendations (more iterative process). While benchmarks for country comparison were on the agenda from the beginning onwards, it can be recommended to also start with the substantive comparison from the outset. Country-comparison (WP4) and the identification of design principles (WP5) should be given a larger role vis-à-vis country-specific analysis (WP3 in STAR-FLOOD).
• Discuss the conceptual approach and the substantive issues covered in the project simultaneously. In Work Package 2 and at the beginning of Work Package 3, much discussion was held on the conceptual approach and the precise scope of the empirical research. Only after closure on these issues was achieved, the discussion shifted to the more substantive policy and legal issues of the project. We recommend to discuss and address both issues simultaneously, as these discussions may enrich each other.
• Make early agreements on how to deal with differences in disciplinary reporting and publication styles. It was ensured that the country reports (WP3) would remain relatively concise, to provide readers with easy access to the key findings. This constituted a tension, however with the need to discuss legal information in some detail. Part of the legal information in STAR-FLOOD is now not included in the WP3 reports, but in background documents that are not publicly available. Although this information is present in journal articles written on the basis of the empirical research, it would also be advisable to include the legal background information, for instance as appendices to the reports or in an online resource.
• Provide even more structure to facilitate the interdisciplinary approach. It was suggested that even more concrete structure could be offered to achieve more integration between policy analysts and legal scholars, for instance through case workshops, field trips, debates with practitioners etc.
• Be more lenient regarding the content and scope of intermediary products in an early stage of the project. Strict intermediate deadlines were evaluated as positive, but in an early stage the things to deliver could be more general (e.g. template) instead of lengthy texts, in order to avoid large time investments in products that require substantial revisions afterwards.
• Involve end-users in the project in an earlier stage. While intensive workshops with end-users were held throughout the project, valorisation of research and dissemination of findings will even be more enhanced if end-users are also involved as partners in the project from the start.

5.3 OVERALL RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FUTURE EUROPEAN PROJECTS

Based on our experiences as discussed in the preceding two sub-sections, we conclude that interdisciplinary comparative and complementary research that leads to innovative insights requires the intensive forms of cooperation and the high degree of coordination as pursued in the STAR-FLOOD project. Intensive exchanges were necessary to ensure that all researchers were taking a common conceptual and methodological starting point, that integration between social science and legal research was achieved, that the country-specific deliverables are of excellent quality and to a large extent comparable, and that a common framework for comparison and identification of design principles was used. In hindsight, it can be said that the ambition to arrive at cumulative, coherent and comparable research was challenging, required much coordination effort, but was on the other hand also extremely rewarding as it enabled us to truly adopt an integrated and comparative perspective and to arrive at nuanced findings as detailed in all STAR-FLOOD deliverables. To summarise, based on our experience we argue that project proposals for large integrated European projects (e.g. within Horizon 2020) should have the following characteristics in order to maximise the chance for success. A proposal should:
• Decide between two mutually exclusive approaches in terms of the structure of Work Packages. WPs can be organised according to concrete overall steps in the research (e.g. assessment framework; empirical research; comparison; design) instead of according to specific disciplinary or issue-oriented activities. While the former approach, the one followed in STAR-FLOOD, is in our view more ambitious and rewarding, applicants should be aware that it requires strong coordination efforts and may at times be challenging.
• Identify concrete actions to achieve intensive knowledge exchange between countries and disciplines as well as training activities for junior researchers.
• Identify specific moments at which decisions will be made regarding important issues such as the definitions of key concepts, the main features of the conceptual approach used, the scope of the empirical research, and the table of contents of specific deliverables and provide a justification for the timing.
• Involve end-users as partners in the project from the outset.
• Design an approach in which country and case study analyses and their comparison co-evolve through an iterative process.

6 ISSUES FOR FURTHER RESEARCH

All key governance issues mentioned in section 4.4 deserve to be addressed in more detail in follow-up research. In particular, we see the following three clusters of potential follow-up research: (i) validation, application and further specification of STAR-FLOOD’s research findings in real-life contexts; (ii) follow-up research on specific aspects of flood risk governance that were shown to be important as well as research in countries and regions other than the STAR-FLOOD countries; (iii) application of the research approach followed in STAR-FLOOD in other empirical domains. Each of these three clusters will now be discussed in turn.

6.1 VALIDATION, APPLICATION AND FURTHER SPECIFICATION OF STAR-FLOOD’S RESEARCH FINDINGS

Within STAR-FLOOD, design principles were identified based on the findings of the empirical research. The design framework developed in STAR-FLOOD can be used for more design-oriented research efforts, in which possible improvements in FRM are studied by proposing concrete governance options to actors in the field and discussing and refining these together with them. Specifically, research and experimenting into public-private arrangements at the regional/local level should be further pursued. Also the exchange of good practices between countries and even between regions in single countries has proven to be especially inspiring both for researchers and for actors implementing FRM in practice. We therefore suggest the following:
• To further pursue knowledge co-creation projects in which researchers collaborate with other societal actors around concrete local and regional FRM issues. In so doing, specific attention should be paid to the role of long-term visioning and imagination in this, as it was shown to enhance risk communication and the adoption of a long term perspective.
• The design principles developed in STAR-FLOOD could be further developed into a more direct hypotheses testing approach.
• Design-oriented research can be carried out by participating in INTERREG projects with a specific regional focus.
• Specific follow-up research that sets forth mechanisms in countries and at EU level for improving FRG in specific countries can be carried out.
• Follow up research on trans-boundary flood risk management and the improvement of the Floods Directive in this regard; including the development of shared concepts and the assessment and eventual further development of legal instruments for transboundary cooperation.
• Follow up research on the effectiveness and legitimacy of the procedural governance approach taken in the Floods Directive.
• Follow up research on the effectiveness and depth of the at this moment rather generic participation requirements in the Floods Directive.

6.2 FOLLOW-UP RESEARCH ON SPECIFIC ASPECTS OF FLOOD RISK GOVERNANCE THAT WERE SHOWN TO BE IMPORTANT AS WELL AS RESEARCH IN COUNTRIES AND REGIONS OTHER THAN THE STAR-FLOOD COUNTRIES

Empirical research as carried out within STAR-FLOOD can be further extended to countries, regions and catchments not included in the STAR-FLOOD project. This will lead to cumulative research and complementary insights and good practices. This research should put more emphasis on the occurrence and performance of different forms of multi-level governance as well as aspects related to trans-boundary flood risk governance. In follow-up research, the following specific aspects could be addressed further:
• Social vulnerabilities of different societal groups in relation to multiple hazards.
• Specific governance challenges related to the implementation of flood mitigation/resilient architecture and the role of spatial planning therein could be addressed in more detail.
• The issue of budget cuts of public authorities and how this impacts FRM could be addressed in some detail.
• The power and effectiveness of different types of bridging mechanisms that may help to improve links between flood risk management strategies and may avoid blurred responsibilities.
• The role of critical infrastructure in flood events and how private actors operating them acted in case of a flood.

6.3 APPLICATION OF THE RESEARCH APPROACH FOLLOWED IN STAR-FLOOD IN OTHER EMPIRICAL DOMAINS

STAR-FLOOD’s research approach for carrying out a comparative social science/legal study into governance issues can be applied to other empirical domains. For instance, the following topics could be addressed through an approach that is similar to the one used in STAR-FLOOD:
• Research on drought.
• Climate adaptation in cities and regions.
• Nature-based approaches for multi-hazard issues.
• Integrated approaches to sustainable cities and regions (including green regions, green transformations).
• Integrated multi-hazard and disaster risk reduction research.
• Flooding as a cause of pollution.


Potential Impact:
STAR-FLOOD has adopted an approach in which the needs from were articulated from the outset, making sure that these needs would be addressed in the research and transferring the project results using communication tools that are tailored towards specific target groups. While most knowledge dissemination and networking activities took place in the framework of WP7, all researchers related to all WPs participated in them. Concretely, the following activities – in accordance with and at points going beyond what was anticipated in the DoW – were undertaken to maximise the project’s impact:

• A networking and dissemination plan was established in an early stage and the execution of the networking and dissemination activities among the project partners was coordinated throughout the project. This was done by Grontmij (now Sweco), in close consultation with the project coordinator.
• Various meetings were organized and attended, including:
o Organisation of 2 EU wide expert panels – in close cooperation with WP1/2 and WP4/5 – in order to provide a high-level platform for dissemination of research results. Through cooperation with the research-oriented WPs (1, 2, 4, 5) the expert panels turned out to be useful for articulating implementation problems and specific knowledge needs in different EU Member States, and for thinking along about promising FRMSs.
o Organisation of at least one case study workshop in each case study country – in close cooperation with WP3 – in order to exchange the research results, inform scientific analysis, formulate policy recommendations and build partnerships with local/regional water authorities, municipalities, district authorities, private companies and NGOs.
o Organisation of international workshops on relevant governance issues in different parts of Europe – in close cooperation with WP4 and WP5 – in order to develop an international network in EU Member States other than the case study countries and to disseminate the design framework (information transfer and capacity building). Cooperation with other (research-oriented) WPs (see above) helped us exploring how the design framework can be effectively applied and which regional nuances are relevant.
o Organisation of a final conference – in close cooperation with WP 5 and 6 – in order to disseminate the project results, to further develop a network of researchers and practitioners, to form a platform for presentation of other research/policy initiatives and to discuss FRMSs both from a scientific and from a policy perspective with all relevant stakeholders.
o Present STAR-FLOOD at external meetings, in particular events of key networks, in order to disseminate project results, link with other projects/networks and gain practical knowledge.

• Publications and other communication. This task included:
o Writing policy briefs (summaries, recommendations) and press releases – in close cooperation with WP1-5 – in order to inform policymakers and other professionals of project outcomes and how they can utilize them.
o Publishing in professional magazines in order to inform policymakers and other professionals of project outcomes and how they can utilize them.
o Coordinating and writing periodic STAR-FLOOD newsletters in order to inform project partners and other stakeholders about the project, preliminary results, links with other projects/networks etc.
o Set up and update the STAR-FLOOD website and social media in order to provide access for a broad audience to relevant project information and relevant (social) networks. On the website and on YouTube we put video statements – by project partners and the involved stakeholders – displaying their experience in/lessons from the project.
o Writing a Practitioner’s guide on how to change towards more resilient and appropriate flood risk governance arrangements. The guide is interactive and accessible through the project website. In the DoW, it was foreseen to write the guide in English, with a management summary in the languages of the six participating Member States. However, throughout the project it turned out that resources were available to translate the full Practitioner’s guide in the five languages of the Member States (Dutch, English, Frengh, Polish and Swedish).

DIVISION OF RESPONSIBILITIES

Grontmij Nederland BV (Participant 3, now Sweco) coordinated the networking and dissemination activities among the project partners and took care of networking and dissemination at the international / EU level. The Grontmij offices in each country (Belgium, Poland, UK, Sweden and The Netherlands) implemented the networking and dissemination in their respective country. In France, these tasks were executed by Cépri, the European Centre for Flood Risk Prevention. In order to jointly realise the expected impact, this WP strongly collaborated both with “scientific integration” (WP6) and with research (WP1-5) activities. Therefore, the other consortium partners co-decided, co-organised and contribute where relevant, e.g. in co-organising meetings, presenting STAR-FLOOD results at conferences, writing scientific publications, etc.

CONCRETE OUTPUT REALIZED IN THE PROJECT

• Deliverable 7.1. Website and Social Media operational was delivered in March 2013 (see: www.starflood.eu for the website).
o Since then the website has been regularly updated and messages were posted in social media. An analysis of the use of the website has been executed in June 2013 (at that moment we counted 15.000 pages views), and the website design has been improved based on the results;
o The STAR-FLOOD video has been developed, put online in September 2013 and launched during the Flood risk conference in Exeter. In parallel, a Youtube video channel has been set up, providing access to the STAR-FLOOD video and testimonials of STAR-FLOOD researchers and practitioners.
• Deliverable 7.2 Final conference and report
o The organisation of the end conference started during the second reporting period. The conference was a noon-to-noon meeting at 4-5 February 2016 at HUSA hotel in Brussels. We aimed for 100-150 participants: policymakers, practitioners and researchers in the field of flood risk management. Besides plenary sessions with keynote speakers from the consortium, Aziza Achmouch (PhD) from the OECD and a panel of external experts, we organised 11 parallel sessions covering the results of STAR-FLOOD. For each session 2 conveners (academic and dissemination partner) have developed a plan together. The sessions were interactive and involved many practitioners.
• Deliverable 7.3 Policy briefs
o A first policy brief was published during the first reporting period of STAR-FLOOD. It was decided to wait with the second and third policy brief until the end of the project, when there would be a clearer message. Based on the results of WP4, WP5 and WP7.4 two policy briefs were written in the first quarter of 2016, one focusing on the findings at country level (one policy brief per country and one focusing on the European level).
• Deliverable 7.4 Practitioner’s guide
o The first version of the interactive online guide has been developed and presented when the STAR-FLOOD website was launched. New input has been collected and the Guide has been updated periodically. Besides an interactive online guide, we decided to also develop the practitioners guidebook as a short book / pdf of about 50 pages. An outline has been developed and discussed. WP3 results were analysed in order to deduce common challenges and best practices in the STAR-FLOOD countries. Facts sheets per country and case have been developed. The guidebook was further developed in parallel of WP4 and WP5 and incorporated the WP4 and WP5 results in it. A final draft of the guidebook was presented and discussed during the final conference.
• Other written communication (selection):
o Five newsletters were written and spread to consortium partners and stakeholders by email (May & November 2013; May/June 2014 & November/December 2014 & May/June 2015).
o Article published on Governance of Multilayered Safety Strategy in Dordrecht in H2O (Dutch professional magazine).
o A draft media strategy and storyline for the press were developed.
o A STAR-FLOOD Photo exchange website has been opened on Flickr.
o CEPRI has commented in the press on the floodings in France in October 2015.
• Other external meetings (selection):
o Workshop with practitioners at ECCA conference (Hamburg, March 2013).
o Workshop with practitioners at Knowledge conference Dutch Delta programme (Wageningen, April 2013).
o French workshop Artistic performances & flood management.
o Poster presentation at Dordrecht Flood Risk Management Week.
o Presentation STAR-FLOOD during Flood Risk conference Exeter (September 2013).
o Presentation conference Water and ocean law in times of climate change (October 2013).
o Presentation WP1 results at International Water Week in Amsterdam (November 2013).
o 1st Expert Panel / Workshop with WG F (WFD CIS) on objectives, prioritization, measures and implementation (October 2013).
o Stakeholder database per county and international updated and put online. Basis for meetings with several key stakeholder in each country.
o Set up case study & stakeholder approach with scientific partners in each country (end 2012, early 2014).
o A workshop with practitioners at the conference Delta’s in Times of Climate Change (September 2014) organised. A practitioners’ session at the conference Deltas in Times of Climate Change II (Rotterdam, 25 September 2014) was held, entitled: “Resilient Cities Talk: best practices and remaining challenges on creating resilient urban water fronts” (lead convener: Martijn Steenstra, Grontmij).
o Country and case workshops with practitioners were organised in each STAR-FLOOD country with WP3 (before May 2015).
o Two international workshop with practitioners organised at ECCA (Copenhagen, May 2015).
o One international workshop with practitioners organised at Our common future under climate change (Paris, July 2015);
o One international workshop prepared for 2nd Conference Disaster Risk Reduction (Warsaw, October 2015).
o A proposal was submitted for session om STAR-FLOOD results with practitioners at the Adaptation Futures conference (Rotterdam, May 2016). This session took place on 10th May on 13.30 at the conference.
o The 2nd expert panel was held together with the leaders of WP4 and WP5 (Brussels, November 2015).

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List of Websites:
www.star-flood.eu
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