Numerous fast-growing coastal cities in the Global South are exposed to coastal, fluvial and pluvial floods, as a consequence of decades-long rapid urbanisation and weak enforcement of planning regulations. Integrating Blue–Green Infrastructure (BGI) concepts into the development of the urban landscape has the potential to increase flood resilience and offer broader environmental benefits. BGI is an innovative approach that combines water management and green infrastructure to maintain natural water cycles and enhance environmental and urban renewal. This paper identifies socio-economic, cultural and political challenges influencing BGI adoption in Semarang city in Indonesia. Data was collected from residents of three communities through interviews (n=30), questionnaires (n=180) and focus groups with policymakers and community representatives. The combined quantitative and qualitative data provide an understanding of the specific socio-economic, cultural and political issues at play and reveal flood experience as well as perceptions of community members regarding flood management. Challenges are presented from the point of view of residents and local policymakers and are based on a framework for facilitating local BGI adoption, setting the principles of “inclusive”, “appropriate” and “proactive” as pre-conditions for enhancing community resilience to flooding.
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