Publications on River Restoration in Europe

This page gathers the most interesting case studies, best practices and other relevant studies on River Restoration in Europe. Feel free to download the publications and share them among your network.

Current publications | Search

Cyclic Floodplain Rejuvenation

Following the 'sea change' in the Dutch approach to flood risk management - making 'room for the river' - the 'IRMA-SPONGE' programme was set up to achieve "the development of methodologies and tools to assess the impact of flood risk reduction measures and scenarios" in order "to support the spatial planning process in establishing alternative strategies for an optimal realisation of the hydraulic, economical and ecological functions of the Rhine and Meuse River Basins".

This report from the Programme focuses on Cyclic Floodplain Rejuvenation, highlighting lessons learnt from some case studies.


Since the high discharge events of 1993 and 1995, Dutch policy regarding flood protection has left the principle of raising the dikes. International agreements have been made to lower water levels by giving more room to the river. In addition, floodplain lowering and reconstruction as well as dike realignments create an excellent opportunity to restore natural processes and values and to improve the resilience of the riverine ecosystems. This implies a remarkable break with a centuries long tradition of river management and a demand for new concepts and knowledge.

The IRMA SPONGE programme offered the opportunity to investigate the applicability of river restoration measures in relation to flood protection in general, and, more specific, the usefulness of the Cyclic Floodplain Rejuvenation concept in different parts of the river Rhine system.

The final report on Cyclic Floodplain Rejuvenation presents the main results of the different studies, highlighted in some case studies.

share by email email