Opportunities and Challenges for municipalities in their approach to citizen engagement in climate change adaptation – lessons from Amsterdam.
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In the next decades, downpours will be increasing in intensity and frequency due to the impacts of climate change (IPCC, 2014). Especially urban areas are at risk, due to their large amount of impermeable surface (Mees, 2019; Zhou, 2014; Zölch et al., 2017). The new governmental roles, introduced by the New Public Governance movement could help mobilize citizens in combating climate change (Bekkers et al., 2014; Bovaird and Löffler, 2013; Eriksson, 2012). This study aims to analyse the effectiveness and legitimacy of the new governmental roles that encourage proactive citizen engagement of adaptation to pluvial flooding. This study analysed an in-depth case study of the initiative Amsterdam Rainproof. By evaluating Amsterdam Rainproof as a specific manifestation of citizen engagement, this thesis contributes to insights into mechanisms that may help enhance the effectiveness and legitimacy of citizen engagement in climate. This case study was made up of five interviews and twelve documents, which were coded in NVIVO on the basis of the objectives and indicators chosen to measure the effectiveness and legitimacy. The indicators, objectives and criteria were given a low to high score. The objectives and indicators are shown in table 1. Amsterdam Rainproof was awarded a medium score for both effectiveness and legitimacy. This study contributed to the novel concept of new governemental roles by identifying three findings: (1) Amsterdam Rainproof mainly has a highly educated, wealthy audience, (2) Amsterdam Rainproof has had a high pass-through in the governmental bodies, and (3) Amsterdam Rainproof has (had) a marginal influence on its citizens. These findings could guide future research.