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Social learning towards a more adaptive paradigm? Reducing flood risk in Kristianstad municipality, Sweden
Stockholm University, Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm Environment Institute.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
2013 (English)In: Global Environmental Change, ISSN 0959-3780, E-ISSN 1872-9495, Vol. 23, no 1, 372-381 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Social learning is often treated as an intervention, a designed process facilitated or even initiated by a third party. We investigated how a social learning process emerged spontaneously from inside Kristianstad, one of the most flood-prone municipalities in Sweden. Twenty key persons were interviewed over 8 years, many of them several times, to assess the process. A small action oriented group of technical professionals perceived the flood risk and were key drivers providing strategic innovative capacity. We identified the process attributes that fostered the learning, the knowledge generated and other learning outcomes adapting a model by Schusler et al. (2003). Despite some elements of double loop learning, this process was not able to change the prevailing stationary principle/paradigm, feeling safe behind the embankments and continuing building on low lying land. We argue that building resilience and adaptive capacity would require a mind shift to a paradigm of flood proofing/living with floods and preparing for the unexpected, acknowledging that water cannot be controlled at a certain level. We conclude that knowledge development is inhibited by the Swedish decentralisation approach and we call for a multilevel learning strategy including learning from international experience and emphasising more active coordination at the national level

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 23, no 1, 372-381 p.
Keyword [en]
Innovation, Adaptability, Multilevel governance, Flooding, Triple-loop learning, Adaptive governance
National Category
Environmental Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-82890DOI: 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2012.07.009ISI: 000315617200033OAI: diva2:572888
Available from: 2012-11-29 Created: 2012-11-29 Last updated: 2014-10-15Bibliographically approved

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Johannessen, ÅseHahn, Thomas
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