FRAMES Ninove and Denderleeuw Belgium

Flood risks in Flanders are increasing, due to continuing land sealing and climate change. Addressing these risks will not be possible with protective measures only (e.g. embankments, flood retention zones, etc.) but will necessitate a wide set of measures. Some of these measures will require action to be taken by citizens. Considering the fact that Flemish flood risk management has limited experience with citizen engagement, it can be expected that the implementation of individual and community-based measures will not be self-evident and might even meet resistance.

Within FRAMES, the Province of East-Flanders and Ghent University will investigate the possibilities of individual and community-based flood risk action and how it can be encouraged. In the flood-prone areas of Ninove and Denderleeuw, participatory planning processes will unite inhabitants to explore the possibilities of this type of measures, their potential co-benefits and how citizens’ capacities can be strengthened to implement them.

The main goals of the pilot cases in Ninove and Denderleeuw are the same:

  • Increasing inhabitants awareness of local flood risks and on individual and community-based measures that could be taken
  • Creating co-ownership of flood risk management (taking on co-responsibility)
  • Increasing inhabitants knowledge, social networks and economic capacity to take flood risk measures
  • Stimulating overall spatial and social district development (exploring co-benefits with other issues at hand)

The primary stakeholders are citizens and companies located in flood-prone zones (as defined by the flood risk maps). In addition, the following stakeholders are identified:

  • Future inhabitants of flood-prone areas (guiding future building developments)
  • Inhabitants/farmers of neighboring non-floodable areas (encouraging water infiltration and retention measures)
  • Relevant authorities:

o    Water managers: W&Z, VMM, Province of East-Flanders, Aquafin

o    Municipalities

o    Fire brigades

o    Provincial governor

o    Flemish spatial planning department

o    Agency for Nature and Forest

o    Etc.

  • Local organisations (e.g. neighbourhood committees, nature organisations, farmer organisations, Red Cross)
  • Schools