• Prof. Dr. Thomas Hartmann
  • map
  • Climate protection & adaptation
  • Landscape, open space & environmental planning
LAND4FLOOD: Natural Flood Retention on Private Land


  • Which synergies can be identified between different land uses and the provision of flood storage and ecosystem services?
  • How can the knowledge base about advantages and potentials of NWRM, large scale flood retention and resilient cities be strengthened and their importance communicated to different actors at the local, regional and catchment levels?
  • How can land owners be encouraged to adapt land uses and land management strategies which allow for increased water retention capacity?
  • How can public and private stakeholders in urban and rural areas engage with each other to reduce flood damage through a comprehensive management plan based on the implementation of retention and resilience measures throughout the catchment?

Climate change increases the frequency and intensity of future flood events, leading to higher costs of flood damages and increasing the public demand for protective measures. Traditional flood protection measures, mainly based on grey infrastructure (i.e. dikes, dams, etc), are not sufficient to cope with dynamic flood risk alone. Nature-based solutions such as Natural Water Retention Measures (NWRM) are promising options to mitigate flood risks as a complement to grey infrastructure. These types of measures not only serve to reduce risk, they also provide additional ecosystem services including increased biodiversity and recreation opportunities. However, a common characteristic of green infrastructure measures is that they often claim more land than traditional methods.

The challenge is to consider multifunctional land uses, which enable temporary flood retention and flood storage on private land without restricting the provision of other ecosystem services. The reconciliation of flood risk management and land management is needed. Since all NWRM primarily need to be implemented on private land the consideration of multiple aspects includes: economic issues (e.g. how to compensate for or incentivize flood retention services); property rights issues (e.g. how to allow temporary flood storage on private land); issues of public participation (e.g. how to ensure the involvement of private landowners) as well as issues of public subsidies (e.g. how to integrate/mainstream flood retention in agricultural subsidies). LAND4FLOOD COST Action aims to address these different aspects and to establish a common knowledge base and channels of communication among scientists, regulators, land owners and other stakeholders in field.


Title image by Nazrin B-va on Unsplash


Prof. Dr.
Chair, Member
Contributor, Member


Meeting in Ljubljana
Meeting in Thessaloniki
Meeting in Hannover
Meeting in Vienna
Meeting in Prague
Kick-off meeting in Brussels


COST-Action “Land4Flood” – Final sprint in the last funding period

The international project „Natural Flood Retention on Private Land“ will end in spring 2022. During 5 years of intensive networking and collaboration, members from numerous european countries have addressed the objectives, trade-offs and prospects of flood risk management concepts within this COST-Action. Discussions centered on potential synergies of land use and flood management, knowledge of nature based solutions and natural water retention measures.


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