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Long-term spatial planning and flood risk management: A Nordic perspective
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Geography and Economic History, Economic and social geography.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Floods don´t follow administrative boarders, and with ongoing climate change there is an increased need to prepare for the effects of flood disasters and to coordinate mitigation measures. What is more, floods can´t be solely viewed as natural disasters, but are also depending on human-nature interaction. It is thus of interest to study through a spatial perspective what can be done in the physical planning to mitigate flood risks.

This thesis investigates flood risk management and long-term spatial planning on a local level. In the existing literature, studies on long-term planning and flood risk management have been conducted and the impact of the EU Floods Directive (2007/60/EC) studied; however, comparative studies on this have been predominantly in a Central European context. This thesis contributes to the study of the Nordic planning perspective through a comparative study of two small-sized municipalities in Sweden and Finland. Both countries can be characterized by structures of decentralization and a strong local focus in their spatial planning, and exploring the determinants of local long-term planning in a rural context is of interest in this thesis. The incorporation of flood risk management into physical planning in two rural municipalities and the effects of the Floods Directive form thus a point of departure for this study.

The study has shown that in the implementation of flood risk management measures, there are strong top-down structures at play which limit the local discretion in planning with regard to this. However, through the implementation of the Directive, spatial strategy-making has been aided through the provision of more accurate data. When it comes to implementing flood risk measures overall, the municipalities have incorporated this into their comprehensive planning, however to a limited extent. Also, the results show that more effective channels for public involvement in planning are needed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Long-term spatial planning, flood risk management, EU Floods Directive, case study, spatial planning systems
National Category
Human Geography
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-118905OAI: diva2:917366
Available from: 2016-04-06 Created: 2016-04-06 Last updated: 2016-04-06Bibliographically approved

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