How to Achieve Local Resilience to Flood Risks by Increasing Solidarity: The Example of the “Syndicat Mixte” (Inter-Municipal Cooperation Structure) of the French Territory of Belfort-Montbéliard

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DOI: 10.4236/jwarp.2016.84042    1,000 Downloads   1,243 Views  


This paper illustrates approaches to flooding risk governance in a territory where a high density of population corresponds to a high level of industrial activities and a significant development of transport infrastructures in a transboundary context between France, Germany and Switzerland. In the last few years, some fundamental changes in European official instructions about risks and especially about flooding risks occurred. Substantial public policy challenges remain in order to promote a broad-based resilient territory twinned with local knowledge of sustainable land management and civic participation in local governance. The survey is based on a GIS study and questionnaires with a representative panel of 235 stakeholders from the studied territory. Our statistical results demonstrate that, in spite of a deep-rooted mindset as regards flooding hazards, local population awareness of the territorial vulnerability is not related to important challenges. A hierarchical analysis of the data shows that the awareness of stakeholders is less related to the importance of risks when the territorial level decreases. It also highlights the decline of solidarity among neighbouring communities when the distance from the industrial axis increases. Greatly impacted by flooding risks, industrial activities of the regional basin are paradoxically not really perceived as common challenges. Such a case study illustrates how public policies need to be relevant to the adapted levels. Awareness of common issues is a central target to develop acceptance in order to provide an efficient framework of resilience, including willingness to pay to reduce the risk and solidarity in local development compensations.

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Pech, P. , Duplan, C. , Robin-Chevallier, L. and Fevrier, R. (2016) How to Achieve Local Resilience to Flood Risks by Increasing Solidarity: The Example of the “Syndicat Mixte” (Inter-Municipal Cooperation Structure) of the French Territory of Belfort-Montbéliard. Journal of Water Resource and Protection, 8, 493-504. doi: 10.4236/jwarp.2016.84042.


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