The workshops aim to find a common vision and to formulate a strategy that reduces the risk of floods in the Ljubljana urban region.
The Regional Development Agency of the Ljubljana Urban Region (RRA LUR) facilitated the workshop. It was attended by over 25 participants from local and national level, including representatives of municipalities, national institutes, academic researchers and spatial and water management planners and contractors.
The workshop focused on the design of an integrated water and flood risk management strategy, and the search for practical action measures.
The workshop was built on local experiences such as Managing Public Transportation in LUR and Navigability of river Ljubljanica. The main lesson learned from these past experiences is the key role that cooperation with different stakeholders has and thus, it is especially important to include it already in the early stages of the project. Moreover, it could be combined with good practices from other TURAS partners and both things could make use of the current existing dynamic of the Regional Development Programme 2014-2020.
In this regard, one of the significant inputs for the workshop was the case of the City of Rotterdam and its "Climate Change Adaptation Strategy", and the integrated approach to flood risk management developed at the Institute for Environmental Studies, University Amsterdam (VU-IVM). Local authorities, municipalities, and some local communities participated in the event and were able to get an insight to the good practices and unknown measures that were presented.
Some of the workshop participants (experts and municipalities) were reluctant to cooperate and share the more detailed key data: open access databases offer fairly good information system of general spatial data, mostly on the national or municipal level. However, detailed data at the regional level (for example, individual flood protection studies, flood risk assessments or a comprehensive map of flood prevention measures, among others) is often missing, showing gaps or has been collated for the internal use of specific stakeholders.
The workshop was supported by the cooperation and knowledge exchange with TURAS partners, especially the VU-IVM and the City of Rotterdam, as well as the cooperation between public authorities and researchers. In addition, the workshop counted with other significant resources, such as financial support, employees worktime, necessary equipment, event venue and social networking. However, key data such as flood models for the region and a flood damage simulation was missing.
There were several opportunities that benefited the workshop. For instance, the TURAS partnership (which contributed with the cooperation of water/flood management experts), the neutrality and objectivity of external partners as well as the relevance of the topic (due to the occurrence of major floods in 2010 and 2014 that were not properly addressed).
The workshop contributed to set an open discussion and gain enriching perspectives from the different participants. In addition, it enabled municipalities to acquire new knowledge from good practices implemented overseas, as well as it helped to set a common framework for the reduction of flood risk (by proving a list of priority measures, responsibilities for different levels of governance, etc.).
The workshop has significantly contributed to establishing the starting point of a process that fosters the cooperation between key regional stakeholders in order to improve flood protection management. Further efforts contributed to the fact that the project "Reducing the Flood Risk in Ljubljana Urban Region" was ranked in the Regional Development Agreement.
Assuming the topic of water management and flood prevention as a very extensive and intertwined one, results at this stage are not measurable yet, since the process is still at the very beginning. Nevertheless, it is expected that on the long-term, the implementation of the strategies will lead to a more resilient region that will cope with climate change and natural phenomena in a more sustainable and responsible way.
"Participating in the workshop showed us that cooperation with different stakeholders is quite significant and thus, it is especially important to include them already in the early stages of the project."
Gaja Trbižan, RRA LUR