In this study, the authors interrogate drivers and barriers of societal transformation in natural hazard management through case studies in Austria, France and Ireland focusing on attempts to integrate multi-functional protection schemes in the context of flood and avalanche hazards.
The authors find that transformative approaches have been mainly supported by local initiatives instigated by local governments, residents, or NGOs with the aim of complementing conventional hazard management policies. Their analysis shows that local actors and stakeholders often pursue initiatives to address local problems or to seize local opportunities rather than to contribute to a broader societal transformation.
According to the findings, key drivers of community-based initiatives with multiple functionality and use include:
- lack of funding;
- lack of legal protection; or
- lack of space, where classical risk management measures can no longer respond to new circumstances.
In contrast, key barriers relate to:
- lack of local capacities;
- lack of local political support; and
- technological challenges in the implementation phase.
These insights support European regions currently working on the implementation of climate change adaptation strategies arising from natural hazards.