Using Nature for Flood Risk Management: Public Engagement & Conflicts

Joana Guerrin is a French Fulbright visiting scholar invited by the College of Environmental Design (RiverLab) at UC Berkeley in the academic year 2022-2023. In France, she is a researcher in political science at INRAE, the French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment, based in Strasbourg (France). Her research addresses governance issues for water-related risk policies such as floods and droughts, and she researches mainly in France, Switzerland and Brazil. Currently, she is developing a research project in collaboration with researchers at UC Berkeley on the environmental turn of flood management through concepts such as Nature-based Solutions (NbS) in France and in the U.S (










In this talk, Joana will present a conflict that opposed elected representatives to State engineers in France in the implementation of a floodplain restoration project on the Rhône River. Drawing from what can be seen as a failure in policy implementation, we will discuss how we can learn from conflicts, especially to improve public engagement in environmental planning. Analyzing conflicts can help to change the ways we engage with residents and actors that are usually left aside of decision-making when it comes to flood protection policies, seen as technical issues. An experiment led during a river restoration project in Lausanne (Switzerland) will be then discussed.

The Rhône River at Donzère-Mondragon (France)
Credit: Joana Guerrin

Presented by the UC Berkeley CED LDARCH 253 Landscape Architecture + Environmental Planning departmental colloquium and Riverlab, UC Berkeley.