Collaborative spatial planning in the face of flood risk in delta cities: A policy framing perspective

Meng Meng, Marcin Dąbrowski, Yuting Tai, Dominic Stead, Faith Chan

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Integration of flood risk in spatial planning is increasingly seen as a way to enhance cities’ resilience to the growing flood hazards, albeit its operationalisation remains challenging. This study aims to explain the reasons for this difficulty through the case study of Guangzhou, a Chinese delta city that is highly vulnerable to coastal, fluvial and pluvial flooding, particularly in the context of a changing climate and rapid expansion of the urban fabric. It does so by investigating the recognition of flood risk in spatial planning and vice-versa, of spatial issues in the flood risk management field, using framing analysis. The paper reveals that the integration of flood risk concerns in spatial planning in Guangzhou remains an emerging process, gradually shifting from informal to formal activities grounded in legislation. This happens through percolation of framing discourse from the flood risk management policy to spatial planning, leading to changes in problem setting, action scripts and the prescribed governance arrangements in the planning discourse. The vagueness of governance arrangements, however, undermines the integration of flood risk management in spatial planning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-104
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Science and Policy
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019


  • Boundary spanning
  • Climate change
  • Delta cities
  • Flood risk
  • Framing analysis
  • Spatial planning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


Dive into the research topics of 'Collaborative spatial planning in the face of flood risk in delta cities: A policy framing perspective'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this