Knowledge Uptake from Lived Experience to Complement Scientific Knowledge in Urban Policymaking regarding Sustainable Water Management

  • C. Nettenbreijers

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


In this research report, we addressed the challenge of incorporating Lived Experience into knowledge production to accelerate sustainable development. Practitioners are insufficiently aware of the potential contribution of residents’ Lived Experience and the collaborative action learning process to develop area-specific local knowledge that can contribute to local policymaking and possibly also to scientific knowledge development.

We performed the ex-post case study in the Bloemenbuurt in the city of Rotterdam, the Netherlands. A neighbourhood with a low groundwater level, which causes the wooden piles of the foundations of the houses to become dry and may collapse. We conducted a document study and interviewed residents and civil servants. In our study, we performed two triangulation steps. We revealed three types of local knowledge development originated through Lived Experience. First, by of the monitoring wells measurements by the residents. Second, because the residents are the eyes and ears on-site for the civil servants. And finally, by experimenting together in the neighbourhood. In addition, the developed local knowledge was embedded in the execution work. However, not yet in policymaking or scientific knowledge development. Based on the results, we can conclude that a common cause is required to achieve collective action learning, including Lived Experiences. Moreover, we inferred that the communication barriers and knowledge uptake failure mechanisms should be scrutinised in a collective action learning process, as well as the elements of trust and power.
Date of Award11 Oct 2021
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorPaquita Perez Salgado (Examiner) & Jean Hugé (Co-assessor)

Master's Degree

  • Master Environmental Sciences

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