Extraordinary governance to avoid extraordinary events

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We are in the midst of a water crisis. Scarcity, pollution and flooding are some of today’s key challenges for sustainable urban development. The reasons are manifold. Preventive measures are put on the back burner, while reactive measures, siloed governance approaches and power struggles are daily business, resulting in ineffective governance. The crisis is hitting the most vulnerable urban populations the hardest and is, ultimately, a social equity issue. Against this background, we assess current water governance practice in order to identify key factors that can support social learning and enable just societal change. Taking Sweden as a critical case study, our findings highlight the potential of applying social learning theory and practice to support innovation and address the crisis. We present some key principles at three levels of resilience (socioeconomic, hazard and social–ecological), that should be considered when designing more comprehensive approaches, based on integrated learning and governance change. We conclude that an extraordinary governance approach is needed to support policy- and decision-makers in their efforts to reduce water-related risks and build resilience.
Translated title of the contributionExtraordinary governance to avoid extraordinary events
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWater Resilience
Subtitle of host publicationManagement and Governance in Times of Change
EditorsJulia Baird, Ryan Plummer
Number of pages290
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-48110-0
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-48109-4
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Sept 22

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Other Civil Engineering
  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary


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