Strategic Delta Planning

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Worldwide a sustained development of urbanizing deltas is at risk. Deltas are vulnerable to flooding and sea level rise, ecosystems are threatened by urban sprawl, industrialisation and intensified agriculture. Due to these differing interests, it becomes difficult to agree on strategic choices for the spatial development of a delta. Strategic delta planning is an approach to come to a more sustainable development of a delta. During a strategic delta planning process, a vision (the strategic delta plan) is developed and actions and means for implementation are initiated. In many deltas around the world such a planning approach has started, ranging from Myanmar and Bangladesh to the Netherlands and the United States.

This project focuses on the Netherlands, Bangladesh and Vietnam. It aims to better understand the dynamic delta planning processes within a longer time-frame and the roles of stakeholders, experts and policy-makers therein. The researchers in the project study three crucial elements that together heavily influence the fit of delta planning within society: dynamics in stakeholder coalitions over time, the role of knowledge and tools that support participatory processes, and the role of technological advances and innovative solutions.

These scientific insights will be used to strengthen planning practice through tools and recommendations, supported by capacity building. The project is linked to real-world strategic delta planning processes. A direct link to ongoing delta projects ensures the involvement and capacity building of key stakeholders and dissemination of results. Ultimately this should result in well-informed broadly supported plans, which contribute to sustainable delta development. The project contributes to participatory planning tools and approaches that support the development of stable stakeholder agreements on strategic choices that can be effectively translated into innovative solutions.

This project is part of Research Programme “Urbanising Deltas of the World” funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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