NL-10 :: Governance

Asking more holistic questions, as is needed when tackling societal challenges, requires for understanding of, and sometimes changes in the governance system. Policies and regulation are currently quite sectorial, although this is changing in the Netherlands with the implementation of the Environment and Planning Act (expected 2018). This requires other or additional arrangements and collaboration.
Dealing with safety and health issues is important within the scope of INSPIRATION and poses challenges in the field of governance. For example: new and intensive land use functions in the shallow or deep subsurface can cause risks for the soil-sediment-water system and safety for health and environment. It is important to know who is responsible for which aspects in terms of safety. In some cases this can be the (national or regional or local) authority. In other cases this is the citizen.
Dealing with uncertainties when working with the soil-sediment-water system also poses challenges in terms of governance. The effects of interferences in the soil-sediment-water system are not always predictable and/or known. Also trends as climate change, intensification of agriculture, demographic changes cause insecurities. By listing the insecurities it is possible to anticipate on them. Risk management is an instrument that is suitable for developing robust policy as well as robust spatial plans and management. Risk-based and adaptive practices are valuable here.
Specific research questions can be all clustered under Land management:
• Soil as “common”: how can we effectively implement air-water-soil when tackling societal challenges if we do not own them?
• Which policy choices and regulation are impediments to realize sustainable soil and land use in practice?
• How can we convert from a control model to an adaptive model when managing space?
• How do we rank priorities of subsurface activities when they are competing for the same space?
• How to deal with “game changers” (new policy, knowledge, scandal, disaster etc.)?
• What knowledge is needed to develop risk management and related measures?
• How can we effectively work on holistic issues such as area-based groundwater management (with both generic and specific knowledge, “T-shaped knowledge” and with attention for made-to measure activities and the right processes)
• How can we use pilots when making policy to avoid mismatches between policy and practice?
• How can we bring the application of green-blue structures from paper to practice?