Adaptive planning

What is adaptive planning?

Adaptive planning is is anticipatory instead of responsive and explicitly recognizes uncertainties about the future and takes these into account in the management planning (Klijn et al., 2015).

Adaptive planning processes and the MLS concept

Adaptive planning processes like Dynamic Adaptation Policy Pathways (DAPP) affect the development of climate adaptation strategies and how they deal with uncertainties (Buijs et al., 2018). The DAPP is a method for decision making under deep uncertainties future arising from social, political, technological, economic, and climate changes. This method combines two approaches for designing adaptive planning: ‘adaptive policymaking’ and ‘adaptive pathways’ (Haasnoot et al., 2013).The FRAMES pilots working on adaptive planning looked at measures in layer 1, layer 2 and layer 3.

Dynamic Planning Process.png
Image depicting the adjusted DAPP approach as applied in two Danish pilots.

Adaptive planning and FRAMES pilots

In FRAMES, two pilot projects in Denmark, Assens and Vejle, adjusted and applied the DAPP approach (see figure above) in combination with MLS measures to create adaptation development plans for flood proof cities.

How is DAPP linked to the layers of MLS?

The implementation of the DAPP method benefits the other layers of the MLS approach:

  • Layer 1, protection: dike or a pop up sea wall, a dune landscape, raise the terrain or the road.
  • Layer 2, spatial adaptation: flood the first floor, raise the terrain for new buildings or use stick
  • Layer 3, preparedness and response: evacuation plans, awareness raising campaigns, private local response team. Note though, that it is not possible to visualize the impact of soft measures such as emergency planning in the DAPP maps. However, these measures can be included in the action plan.

Lessons learnt

For a full list of the main lessons learnt from the pilots working with DAPP, please click here.

Relevant adaptive capacities

To accomplish actions successfully, certain capacities are more needed than others. More specifically: the combination of flood risk management strategies in response to climate change depends on the adaptation space and capacity of institutions (Berkhout, Hertin and Gann, 2006). Since institutions have the ability to stimulate the capacity of  a society to adapt to climate change from the local to the national level (Gupta et al., 2010), stakeholders and organizations involved in FRAMES focused on the development of adaptive capacities at local and regional level.

The adaptive capacities that were employed and developed during the pilot projects working on community resilience are shown in the spiderweb below. We will provide more detail for those capacities that significantly increased during the pilots.Adaptive planning .pngFigure 1: Development of adaptive capacities in adaptive planning

  • Authority and accountability: make sure you involve the appropriate level of authority and those responsible for FRM. In Denmark, for instance, the municipality is the authority responsible of the urban development and spatial adaptation.
  • Multi-actor,-sector,-level: involve all relevant stakeholders. Multiple stakeholders were involved in the pilot process such as urban planners, water managers and crisis management authorities
  • Variety of problems: there is not just one type of flood. Multiple flood risk issues were considered in the Danish pilots (storm surges and river flooding); make sure to consider all relevant types of floods in your area.
  • Diversity of solutions: a diversity of FRM measures were integrated in the adaptive planning for each layer of the MLSP approach: protection; spatial adaptation measures; preparedness and response / response plans.
  • Discuss doubts: nobody knows what the future looks like. Adaptive planning is a process that helps to reconsider effective combinations of flood risk management perspectives by taking future scenarios into account.
  • Visionary leadership: have a clear vision about what it is you want to accomplish. This promotes sharing information between  stakeholders and enhances collaboration between the stakeholders involved in FRM.
  • Institutional memory: reflect. Having a clear vision also means reflection is allowed, including consideration of the feedback loop of the adaptive pathways and their impact in the long term
  • Continuous access to information: make maps available to all. The visualization of the impact of FRM measures can be developed into an action to communicate with non-experts such as inhabitants and decision makers
  • Human resources: create the knowledge and expertise needed. Currently, both municipalities have the knowledge and the expertise to use a new tool for developing an adaptation development plan for flood proof cities.
  • Act according to plan: stick to what was planned. The municipalities need to follow the action plan for short/medium/ long term  when implementing the adaptation measures of the future vision for the city.
  • Single loop learning: combining the DAPP and MLS approach allows for learning and improvement of FRM practices
  • Double loop learning: integrate new knowledge into policy. Single loop learning supports the reframing of FRM strategies and developing a new planning approach for long term FRM planning

What tools were used in the FRAMES pilots working with adaptive planning?

There are many tools that can be used to when combining the DAPP method with MLS. The FRAMES pilots have selected and successfully used the tools listed in the table below. More information can be found by clicking on the links provided, or by visiting the description of the pilots.

We also uploaded a full list of all tools used to improve the management of MLS.

Name Main objective Description
Workshops Collect data from main stakeholders in the area Workshop for and  with the main stakeholders of the area are organized. Each stakeholder provides information/ knowledge based on their expertise responsibility in flood risk management: crisis management, water management, technical knowledge (flood scenarios) and so on.
Stakeholder analysis Identify all stakeholders in the area A stakeholder analysis will identify all actors along with their interests and potential issues who will have a role in MLS before engaging them in the process.
Dynamic Adaptive Policy Pathways (DAPP) approach Use when developing adaptive plans for the future The Dynamic Adaptive Policy Pathways (DAPP) approach, developed by Deltares and TU Delft, aims to support the development of an adaptive plan that is able to deal with conditions of deep uncertainties.
Vision and Action Plan Use when developing adaptive plans for the future Vision and action plans can be developed to climate/flood proof the area/region with specific spatial adaptation measures.
Multi-criteria analysis (MCA) Measure impacts of policies “Multi-criteria analysis (MCA) is a complementary approach to cost-benefit analysis (CBA). It is a two-stage decision procedure. The first stage identifies a set of goals or objectives and then seeks to identify the trade-offs between those objectives for different policies or for different ways of achieving a given policy. The second stage seeks to identify the “best” policy by attaching weights (scores) to the various objectives.”
3D modelling of flood risk scenarios    Assessment of flood risk, evacuation routes and shelter locations 3D modelling of flood risk scenarios to assess the flood risk of an area and look for the best evacuation routes and dry areas as possible shelter location to improve overall emergency planning.
Social media Communication and dissemination To increase and improve the flood awareness and self-efficacy of citizens and organizations, social media channels are advised to be used: YouTubeTwitter, Facebook, local press (TV, newspaper, magazines, radio), websites, newslet

ters, brochures, leaflets, events and meetings.  ·