On the 17th and 18th September 2015, the Regional Development Agency of Ljubljana Urban Region (RDA LUR) joined forces with IVM VU, City of Rotterdam to focus on the design of integrated water and flood risk management strategies and to search for realistic action measures.
Taking advantage of the expertise of TURAS partner IVM VU in climate change and flood risk management, RDA LUR organised a very useful standalone 2 day event involving 25 participants from local and national level, among them representatives of municipalities, national institutes (National Environmental Agency, National Institute for Water), academic researchers and spatial and water management planners and contractors. The agenda was structured as follows:
- 1st day: introductory presentations, technical meeting, roundtable debate
- 2nd day: introductory presentations, workshop, roundtable debate
This meeting was highly effective in the dissemination and exploitation of TURAS activity units or results in particular those focused on flood management and prevention: Ready 4 Climate Change, Flood Damage Assessment – piloted in Rotterdam and the activity unit on Flood Risk Management piloted in Lljubljana.
The first day introduction was made by Dr. Hans de Moel and Elco E. Koks MSc., both from the Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Amsterdam. It included flood prediction and flood damage models for both Rotterdam and Ljubljana urban region, which was followed by the comparison of the two cases in terms of current information available, form and accessibility of data, identification of knowledge gaps and future plans.
The second day was devoted mainly to various methods and measures of flood risk management. Dr. Hans de Moel and Nick van Barneveld from the City of Rotterdam presented the integrated approach to flood risk management in the case of Rotterdam and its Climate Change Adaptation Strategy. The presentations were followed by a workshop aimed at finding a common vision and to formulate a strategy for reducing the risk of floods in the Ljubljana urban region.
The conclusions showed that short-term and operational performance together with involvement of all actors (residents, local communities, municipalities and the state) are crucial for the reduction of flood risk. At the level of local communities implementation of soft measures (such as permeable paving, private and local water reservoirs and multipurpose open and green spaces in urban environments) was recognized as the most optimal approach. It is also necessary to raise awareness of the residents living in floodplains and prepare instructions on how to prepare for flooding and how to act during floods. Individuals have to take their own responsibilities for the prevention of damage to their property as well. At the inter-municipal or regional level the need to establish a joint platform for coordinated flood risk management that brings together knowledge, practice, and policy at the local, regional and national level is essential. At the end the importance of maintaining existing water systems and facilities and providing a steady source of funding by the state was stressed.