This paper explores warning system options in the landslide-prone community of Gmunden/Gschliefgraben in Upper Austria. It describes stakeholder perspectives on the technical, social, economic, legal and institutional characteristics of a warning system. The perspectives differ on issues such as responsibility allocation in decisions regarding warnings, technologies used for monitoring and forecasting, costs and financial aspects, open data policies and the role of the residents. Drawing on the theory of plural rationality and based on a desk study and interviews, stakeholder perspectives and discourses on the warning system problem and its solution were elicited. The perspectives formed the basis for the specification of three technical policy options for a warning system in Gschliefgraben: a minimal-cost and cost-effective system; a technical-expert system; and a resident-centered system. The case demonstrates the importance of accounting for a plurality of values and preferences and of giving voice to competing discourses in communities contemplating warning systems or other public good policies. This paper concludes that understanding the different and often conflicting perspectives and technical policy options is the starting point for formulating an agreed compromise for an effective warning system. We describe the compromise solution in an accompanying paper included in this Special Issue.
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