Room for rivers and voices: A comparison of the Room for the River approaches in Alberta and the Netherlands.
Historically, both Alberta and the Netherlands have focused on physical infrastructure approaches to flood mitigation. However, following catastrophic flood risk in the 1990s, the Dutch government developed the Room-for-River (RfR) program, breaking from their 1000-year tradition of structural engineering approaches of ‘fighting the water’ to ‘living with water’. In Alberta, the high cost of the 2013 disaster and a growing sensitivity to the implications of climate variability triggered a reassessment of costly structural solutions and exploration of other approaches, leading to three RfR projects. In this presentation, I compare the RfR approaches in the Netherlands and Alberta through the Transition Governance Framework. Unlike transferable technological change, RfR requires fundamental institutional, governance, and cultural change, and hence is more challenging to implement. This presentation sets the stage for discussions on how a combination of policies and practices could make more room for rivers and voices in flood risk management.
Nov 13, 2019 01:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)