A paper based on the PhD thesis of Meng Meng (SCUT, TU Delft), has just been accepted for publication in Cities. It is available here for your reading pleasure ahead of print: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cities.2022.103702

The adopted measures to deal with flood risk in the Guangzhou city centre during 1984–2010. Author: Meng Meng

This paper explores the historical experience of Guangzhou’s spatial planning system striving for flood resilience as well as the evolution of planning policies and flood governance. We build on the notion path dependence and path deviation, originating from social science and governance management, to research on the change and continuity of planning policies. We explore the conditions allowing for path deviation concerning institutional environment, socio-economic context and natural hazards. We also develop a theoretical framework for planning to act upon flood affairs through avoidance, defence, mitigation, preparation and evacuation. Finally, we discuss the challenges of the Sponge City Programme and sheds light on the conditions for a successful transition from the current situation to new “Sponge City” practices. Thus, we learn from the past about the current  challenges encountered in the implementation of blue-green solutions for mitigating flood riks in the urban space in Guangzhou. 

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