Phd tempels


Barbara Tempels

ISBN code



214 pages

DOI code


What is flood resilience? At first sight, flooding presents itself as a physical issue. This could lead one to think that solutions are to be found in the physical realm – from robust, large-scale solutions (such as dikes, weirs) to flexible, small-scale ones (such as floodgates, flood proofing, floating homes). The cover picture, however, shows that there is more to the story. While caravans could be considered physically resilient, as they can accommodate changing conditions, their efficiency depends on the social structures that support them – they simply need to be moved. Resilience is thus not merely about infrastructure. It is also people, and how people use infrastructures. Flood resilience, therefore, is not only to be sought in the technical, but also in the social realm.

Therefore, this dissertation has been an endeavor to understand the role of different actors in managing flood risks. It analyzes which actors directly and indirectly contribute to the spatial development of flood risks. It then looks at how these different actors relate to and interact with each other to produce flood resilience. As such, it develops a framework that provides a broad perspective on how flood risks develop through time and place and explores what the role of spatial planners could be in bringing these different parties together.

About the author

Barbara Tempels (1987) works as a researcher at the Centre for Mobility and Spatial Planning at Ghent University.

She holds a Master's degree in Engineering – Architecture and defends her PhD in Urbanism and Spatial Planning in 2016. From 2010 to 2016, she has worked for the Policy Research Centre for Spatial Planning.

Her research interests include urban governance, complexity, resilience, flood risk management and environmental policy.