Spatial Quality as a decisive criterion in flood risk strategies: An integrated approach for flood risk management strategy development, with spatial quality as an ex-ante criterion


Anne Loes Nillesen
TU Delft, Architecture and the Built Environment


The role of the designer in flood risk management strategy development is currently often restricted to the important but limited task of optimally embedding technical interventions, which are themselves derivatives of system level flood risk strategies that are developed at an earlier stage, in their local surroundings. During this thesis research, an integrated approach is developed in which spatial quality can already be included in the regional flood risk management strategy development, and thus can become a decisive ‘ex-ante’ aspect of flood risk management strategy development.

The key principle to this approach is the inclusion of a range of interchangeable (effective) flood risk reduction interventions at varying locations, so that the criterion of spatial quality can become decisive in flood risk management strategy development. As part of the methodology development, an assessment framework is developed, allowing for the assessment of the impact of the different interventions on spatial quality; research-by-design is employed to systematically evaluate different interventions at different locations. The Rijnmond-Drechtsteden area in The Netherlands is used as a case study area for this research.

Author Biography

Anne Loes Nillesen, TU Delft, Architecture and the Built Environment

Anne Loes Nillesen graduated with honors as an Architect and Urban designer from TU Delft and undertook postgraduate studies in Landscape Architecture and Urbanism at the Berlage Institute in Rotterdam. At the Faculty of Architecture, she founded the 'Climate Adaptation Lab' and 'Delta Interventions' multi-disciplinary MSc graduate studios.

Anne Loes is the founding director of urban design firm Defacto Architecture and Urbanism, Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Defacto specializes in urban research and design in the domain of water and flood risk management. With her office, Anne Loes worked on complex, large-scale urban design and flood risk management assignments such as the Dutch Delta Programme and Bangladesh Deltaplan, and several regional and local scale adaptation projects, amongst which a barrier design for Houston and the ‘Water as Leverage for Resilient Cities Asia’ project for Khulna, Bangladesh.



December 23, 2018

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