Assessing the leapfrogging potential to water sensitive: the Dutch case of Zwolle

Cesar Casiano Flores*, A. Paula Rodriguez Müller, Nanco Dolman, Gül Özerol

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
46 Downloads (Pure)


Urban floods can cause significant damage and are expected to become more common due to climate change. Previous research has identified that climate change adaptation in cities requires the development of blue-green infrastructure (BGI), and it is expected that cities can leapfrog to a water-sensitive state by implementing BGI. However, leapfrogging is context-dependent, and little is known about how governance factors affect leapfrogging, particularly in midsize cities. This paper addresses this knowledge gap, providing empirical insights into leapfrogging by assessing the governance factors that support or restrict BGI implementation in Zwolle (The Netherlands) towards reaching a water-sensitive state. For the analysis, we employ a governance assessment tool and three catalytic factors that promote leapfrogging. The results show that the governance context supports leapfrogging at a moderate to high level. This means that while the governmental levels and stakeholder networks collaborate to support climate change adaptation of the city, new legislation on BGI and citizens’ involvement in climate change adaptation projects could increase the leapfrog possibilities for Zwolle in achieving its goal of becoming climate-proof by 2050.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1638-1655
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Water and Climate Change
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 6 May 2023


  • blue-green infrastructure
  • flood management
  • leapfrogging
  • medium size city
  • urban water transition
  • water governance
  • UT-Gold-D


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