Chinese experience in delta cities: to what extent does Guangzhou city`s spatial planning system facilitate the initiatives in resolving flood risk?

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Spatial planning is supposed to denote innovations in resolving flood risk. However, taking spatial action is never an easy task. This study aims to explicate the reasons for this difficulty by illustrating why the urban flood risk mitigation is struggling to be tackled of locally despite the growing flood risk in delta cities. It does so by investigating the recognition of flood risk in the spatial planning system. Specifically, Guangzhou, a city located in the Pearl River Delta and vulnerable to fluvial, pluvial and coastal flooding, is taken as an example in this research. By using the method framing analysis, the paper finds that the road to face the flood risk in Guangzhou is still at an emerging process from informal activities to formal legislation. With a pace changing from a dedicated to an integral issue, there is an appeal for a combination between nature-based options and engineering options. In spit of these progress, there is still a mismatch between this policy intent and real practitioners. Due to the weak sense of identity in flood-proof initiatives among practitioners, the road toward a more resilient city is challenging.
Book of proceedings: Annual AESOP Congress, Spaces of Dialog for Places of Dignity, Lisbon, 11-14th July, 2017
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