The politics of resilience in the Dutch 'Room for the River'-project

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An increased focus on the concept of resilience in flood protection has led to the development of a comprehensive flood protection strategy in the Netherlands which stresses the need to provide 'Room for the River' rather than building dykes. But how can a resilient solution in flood protection be successfully implemented? Using insights from the major Dutch flood-protection project 'Room for the River', this article studies the governance of resilience. From a political perspective, resilience is often a win-lose game with many uncertainties. The actors involved have strong incentives to exploit these uncertainties and to hamper resilience based policies. The 'Room for the River'-project was based upon the idea of resilience and had a win-lose character. Nevertheless, the many actors involved, with their conflicting interests, managed to reach consensus by broadening the agenda and by making flood protection a multi-issue game.




De Bruijn, H., De Bruijne, M., & Ten Heuvelhof, E. (2015). The politics of resilience in the Dutch ’Room for the River’-project. In Procedia Computer Science (Vol. 44, pp. 659–668). Elsevier.

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