Adaptation and Extreme Events at the Local Level
Edited by E. Carina H. Keskitalo
Chapter 2: Adaptive capacity building in Saxony: responses in planning and policy to the 2002 flood
In summer 2002, copious rainfall in central Europe caused widespread flooding in the catchment area of the Elbe and Danube Rivers which claimed 112 casualties and caused €21.1 billion in damage (EEA 2003; DKKV 2004). The historical city of Dresden in Eastern Germany, with more than half a million inhabitants, was one of the hardest hit areas. Flash floods of tributaries as well as flooding of the Elbe proper inundated large parts of the city and cut off upstream municipalities, making the event one of the largest natural disasters in the last decade in Europe. In this study we review policy responses to the flood and consider the extent to which these have affected the adaptive capacity of governmental authorities at multiple levels to address future flood risks in relation to climate change. The study concludes that nested institutional arrangements and communication among them, as well comprehensive and implementation-oriented knowledge about extreme events and climate change impacts are important for developing adaptation policies.
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