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KULTURisk: A knowledge-based approach to promote a culture of risk prevention in Europe



KULTURisk is a collaborative project funded within the 7th Framework Program of EU (link). The goal of the project is to promote a culture of risk prevention in Europe by investigating and demonstrating the value added of risk prevention measures against natural hazards, including early warning, risk mapping and structural measures. To achieve this goal, a new evaluation method for evaluating the value added of diverse risk prevention measures (including indirect benefits) will be developed, tested in 6 European case studies of water related risk prevention and transferred to prevention measures against other types of natural hazards. Another goal of the project is to evaluate and optimize the effectiveness of risk communication methods.

Research Focus

The WSL team contributes to the development and testing of the KULTURisk evaluation method as well as to the evaluation and optimization of risk communication methods. In their research activities, they focus on the case study of the long-term flood prevention project of the Sihl, in which it collaborates with the canton of Zürich (AWEL). Risk communication will, however, also be evaluated in other Swiss contexts. At this stage, main research activities are:

  • Evaluation of the communication activities within the long-term flood project of the Sihl
  • Evaluation of the implementation of flood hazard map in the city of Zürich, including the evaluation of an information campaign of the property owners (Maidl & Buchecker, 2012)
  • Evaluation of the education program for local natural hazards consultants of the Federal Office for the Environment (BAFU), including an assessment of the Natural Hazard Platform (GIN) as the main tool of this new institution.
  • Testing of the KULTURisk evaluation method using the data of the Sihl case study.
  • Analysis of the perception of the flood event of the Kander and Lonza river in October 2011 and the attitude of actors towards flood prevention measures, including an analysis of the articles of the local newspapers.


Project Partner

Project Team WSL

 Matthias Buchecker: Project leader, WP risk communication

  • Roland Olschwewski: WP evaluation method
  • Elisabeth Maidl: WP risk communication
  • Helena Zemp: WP risk communication