Improving the active involvement of stakeholders and the public in flood risk management – tools of an involvement strategy and case study results from Austria, Germany and Italy
Abstract. The EU Flood Risk Management Directive 2007/60/EC aims at an active involvement of interested parties in the setting up of flood risk management plans and thus calls for more governance-related decision-making. This requirement has two perspectives. On the one hand, there is (1) the question of how decision-makers can improve the quality of their governance process. On the other hand, there is (2) the question of how the public shall be appropriately informed and involved. These questions were the centre of the ERA-Net CRUE-funded project IMRA (integrative flood risk governance approach for improvement of risk awareness) that aimed at an optimisation of the flood risk management process by increasing procedural efficiency with an explicit involvement strategy. To reach this goal, the IMRA project partners developed two new approaches that were implemented in three case study areas for the first time in flood risk management:
1. risk governance assessment tool: An indicator-based benchmarking and monitoring tool was used to evaluate the performance of a flood risk management system in regard to ideal risk governance principles;
2. social milieu approach: The concept of social milieus was used to gain a picture of the people living in the case study regions to learn more about their lifestyles, attitudes and values and to use this knowledge to plan custom-made information and participation activities for the broad public.
This paper presents basic elements and the application of two innovative approaches as a part of an "involvement strategy" that aims at the active involvement of all interested parties (stakeholders) for assessing, reviewing and updating flood risk management plans, as formulated in the EU Flood Risk Management Directive 2007/60/EC.