Research Outputs

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The role of place attachment in public perceptions of a re-landscaping intervention in the river Waal

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Published on 01/05/2018 by Verbrugge, L.N.H. and van den Born, R.J.G.

Contact details

Laura Verbrugge

University of Twente

Output contains: Dataset upon request

Floodplain residents living along the river (Source: Beeldbank Rijkswaterstaat).

Innovative components

River management is often focused on improving natural conditions and associated benefits for residents, such as recreation and well-being. The importance of ‘place’ and how people feel attached to or depend on the river landscape is often overlooked. This study examined different types of place attachment held by floodplain residents living along the river Waal (including place identity, place dependence, social bonding and narrative bonding), and subsequently explored how these relate to residents’ perceptions of the planned construction of longitudinal dams.

Average scores for the four place attachment dimensions (measured on a scale from 1 to 5).

Findings and implications to practice

Local residents have intermediate to strong bonds with the area, with highest scores for place identity. Overall, village residents were more attached compared to residents of the city of Tiel. This study found that a stronger attachment in the form of social bonding was positively correlated to the evaluation of the planned intervention. This highlights the importance of giving attention to and enhancing community identities and relation between people, in addition to managing river as a physical space. Documenting landscape changes as well as the stories that people tell about the past, present and future of the area may be a fruitful approach to capture and preserve their narratives and incorporate them in landscape design.

Related Content


Dataset access

This dataset concern local stakeholders’ perceptions and their expectations with respect to the construction of longitudinal dams in the Dutch river Waal. has restricted access to protect the privacy of participants.

Related outputs

Implementing participatory monitoring in river management

Evaluating the potential implications of river interventions for local residents, recreational fishermen, boaters and shipping professionals: the perfect starting point for a participatory monitoring project!

15/06/2017 by Laura Verbrugge et al.

View output View publication

Contains: Dataset upon request

Exploring place attachment and visions of nature, of water-based recreationists

Major river interventions can greatly affect stakeholders and their connection to the river landscape. We show how recreationists’ perceptions of nature and landscape influence their expectations about a pilot intervention in the Waal river.

16/01/2018 by Wessel Ganzevoort et al.

View output View publication

Contains: Dataset access

Last modified: 06/06/2019