Contesting land policies for space for rivers - rational, viable, and clumsy floodplain management

Thomas Hartmann*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Space for rivers is a policy, which aims at providing retention for floods. This policy requires land. This land is currently separated from the rivers by levees. Contemporary floodplain management is entrenched in a robust social construction, which hinders the implementation of space for rivers. By analyzing this social construction with the help of the Theory of Polyrationality, this paper stipulates rethinking about floodplain management, and develops visionary ideas for different rational land polices. It is then theoretically discussed why it is not sufficient to have just a rational land policy, but a polyrational land policy. A polyrational approach would be a clumsy but viable response to the social construction of the floodplains. In this paper, the idea is proposed to develop obligatory insurances against natural hazards as such a land policy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-175
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Flood Risk Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 30 Aug 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Clumsy solutions
  • Floodplain management
  • Land policy
  • Polyrationality
  • Space for rivers


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