This paper focuses on the recently changed perspectives in the Netherlands' risk reduction philosophy, aimed at protecting a densely populated delta at a lasting high safety level throughout this century while addressing the impacts of climate change and socio-economic developments. The changed perspectives reflect a shift from policy development and implementation following a disaster (reactive) to a nationwide approach of climate-proofing the delta and thus anticipating projections of climate change and socio-economic developments at the end of this century (proactive: prevention). In addition to presenting these changed perspectives, lessons learnt are presented from Dutch experience, which can be applied to flood-prone areas around the globe. The connecting theme through these lessons learnt is the realisation that a proactive approach to flood prevention instead of reacting to flood disasters pays off and should be the way forward for densely populated, flood-prone areas.

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