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DECIDER rests on two main pillars to achieve its aims:

  • 1

    It develops innovative scientific methods to assess, compare and evaluate the effects, advantages and disadvantages of different adaptation solutions for flood risk reduction. To consider and integrate the different economic, social, ecological and political spheres relevant for the comprehensive evaluation of adaptation options, expertise in different scientific disciplines is brought together.

  • 2

    DECIDER does not stop at the scientific development of innovative methods and their academic application, but develops these further into a decision support tool (DST) co-designed and tested for the practical application in administrative planning institutions.

The main work packages (WPs) of DECIDER is illustrated in the the graph.

DECIDER aims at developing knowledge-based solutions for the design, evaluation and implementation of robust, yet adjustable, adaptation pathways in the context of increasing flood risk in transforming rural-urban-systems.

To achieve these goals, DECIDER develops innovative methods for the identification and evaluation of flood adaptation strategies and measures. The project aims to go beyond existing mainstream concepts, notably economic cost-benefit analysis, which have proven too narrow to provide a comprehensive basis for realistic decision support and the design of adaptation pathways. DECIDER aims to overcome current deadlocks in adaptation decisions by taking an actor-oriented governance approach that seeks to understand the decision-making factors and priorities of different actors in the city (e.g. state agencies, private firms, international organizations). A key strength of the project is therefore that it integrates and advances the hitherto eclectic perspectives on dispersed adaptation options (e.g. large-scale solutions such as ring-dykes vs. decentralized measures down to the building level, green vs. grey infrastructure, formal vs. informal mechanisms for adaptation). DECIDER integrates them into a coherent and comparable framework for the analysis and evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of the respective measures.

The main work packages (WPs) of DECIDER

In a second, integrated, track, the project therefore aims at translating the results and evaluation methods into a practical tool for decision support. The tool starts from acknowledging that information on adaptation options is generally dispersed, stakeholders often act individually based on their own logic and that synergies and conflicts between specific adaptation measures are in many cases unknown. The tool that will be developed here aims at supporting local and regional employees in charge of flood protection, consultancies or non-governmental organizations by providing access to dispersed information sources about flood hazard, vulnerabilities and risk, the multitude of potential measures, their embedment in the legal context, their effects, general costs, stakeholders to be involved and synergies and conflicts. To ensure its uptake and sustainable use, the tool will be co-developed with potential users (e.g. authorities, firms, civil society, etc.) and run through a test phase during the project. The tool will further be designed in a way that facilitates its transfer to other cities facing similar adaptation pressure.