Landuse control


Although following the same guidelines and having the same requirements to meet, the actual flood management and consequently landuse control practice in EU countries differs from country to country.


In Germany, the Government has released a couple of new guidelines and water acts for flood risk management, e.g. the five-point program:

  • “Das Gesetz zur Verbesserung des vorsorgenden Hochwasserschutzes"
  • the "LAWA-guidelines"

for a future oriented flood risk management. They require an integrative flood management strategy, which includes the whole catchment of a river and gives priority to more space for the rivers.

This new policy means expanding the relationship between the city, space and water, and setting a new, changed benchmark for building, planning and expansion of the city. The Flood Control Act is changing several national laws, such as the Federal Building Code and the Water Management Act. The main change is the spatial definition of the extent of a 100-year-flood for areas with high damage potential and consequently building restrictions for these areas.


Another approach is the introduction of urban runoff standards (e.g. a limit of 2 l h-1 s-1 in the Paris Region) in the planning master plans (in France at municipal and regional levels). These standards respond more to a technical concern for the existing network (in France mostly designed for a ten-year return period) rather than to a hydrogeological concern for local conditions. This process of “privatisation” of the pluvial flooding risk should be correctly assessed.


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Flood control act - Germany

Lawa- guidlines

Further Information


Role of spatial planning and water management

Landuse control - EU experiences