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Heleen is an academic professional with expertise and experience in conducting research in the governance of sustainability issues at the local level. Heleen’s research interests are in urban governance issues, including topics such as: (shifts in) governance modes, citizen engagement, divisions of responsibilities, democratic governance (legitimacy & accountability), public participation and citizen science. Her main empirical field of interest is climate change governance.

Heleen has done internationally comparative research on the governance of adaptation to climate change in urban areas. She has studied the governance capacity of urban planning for climate adaptation (Mees and Driessen, 2012). She has researched the stimuli and barriers to urban climate adaptation (Runhaar et al., 2012); the division of responsibilities for urban climate adaptation between public authorities and private actors (Mees, 2017; Runhaar et al., 2015; Mees, 2014; Mees et al., 2013; Mees et al., 2012); and the legitimacy (Mees et al., 2014), fairness (Mees et al., 2015) and accountability (Mees and Driessen, 2019b) of local governance arrangements. Her more recent work is about citizen engagement in climate change governance, and the facilitative roles of local governments in stimulating citizen initiatives (Mees et al., 2019 a & c).

Scholarly articles in international peer reviewed journals:

  • Mees, H.L.P., Uittenbroek, C.J., Hegger, D.L.T. & Driessen, P.P.J. (2019c). From citizen participation to government participation: An exploration of the roles of local governments in community initiatives for climate change adaptation in the Netherlands. Environmental Policy and Governance, 29, 198-208. (Q1). Open access link:
  • Mees, H.L.P. & Driessen, P.P.J. (2019b). A framework for assessing the accountability of local governance arrangements for adaptation to climate change. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 62(4), 671-691. (Q1). Open access link:
  • Uittenbroek, C.J., Mees, H.L.P., Hegger, D.L.T. & Driessen, P.P.J. (2019a). The design of public participation: who participates, when and how? Insights in climate adaptation planning from the Netherlands. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 62(14), 2529-2547. (Q1). Open access link:
  • Mees, H.L.P., Tijhuis, N. & Dieperink, C. (2018). The effectiveness of communicative tools in addressing barriers to municipal climate change adaptation: lessons from the Netherlands. Climate Policy, 18(10), 1313-1326. (Q1) Open access link:
  • Hegger, D. L., Mees, H. L., Driessen, P. P., & Runhaar, H. A. (2017). The Roles of Residents in Climate Adaptation: A systematic review in the case of The Netherlands. Environmental Policy and Governance 27(4), 336-350 (Q1)
  • Mees, H. (2017). Local governments in the driving seat? A comparative analysis of public and private responsibilities for adaptation to climate change in European and North-American cities. Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning 19 (4), 374-390 (Q1)
  • Keessen, A., Vink, M., , Boezeman, D., Ernst, W., Mees, H., Van Broekhoven, S., Van Eerd, M., Van Popering-Verkerk, J., Wiering, M. (2016). Solidarity in water management. Ecology & Society 21(4): 35. (Q1)
  • Runhaar, H.A.C., Uittenbroek, C.J., van Rijswick, H.F.M.W., Mees, H.L.P., Driessen, P.P.J. & Gilissen, Herman Kasper (2016). Prepared for climate change? A method for the ex-ante assessment of formal responsibilities for climate adaptation in specific sectors. Regional Environmental Change, 16 (5), 1389-1400. (Q1)
  • Gilissen, H.K., Uittenbroek, C., van Rijswick, M., Mees, H., Driessen, P. and Runhaar, H. (2015). De klimaatbestendigheid van de vitale infrastructuur beoordeeld vanuit juridisch-bestuurlijk perspectief – Over de verwachte effectiviteit van de verdeling van verantwoordelijkheden voor de beheersing van klimaatrisico’s in de elektriciteits- en de internetsector. Nederlands Juristenblad 25, 1640 – 1648.
  • Mees, H.L.P., Driessen, P.P.J. and Runhaar, H.A.C. (2015). ‘Cool’ governance of a ‘hot’ climate issue: public and private responsibilities for the protection of vulnerable citizens against extreme heat. Regional Environmental Change 15(6), 1640-1648. (Q1)
  • Massey, E., Huitema, D., Garrelts, H., Grecksch, K., Mees, H., Rayner, T., Storbjörk, S., Termeer, K. and Winges, M. (2015). Handling adaptation governance choices in Sweden, Germany, the UK and the Netherlands. Journal of Water and Climate Change 6(1), 9-24. (Q2)
  • Mees, H.L.P., Dijk, J., Van Soest, D., Driessen, P.P.J., Van Rijswick, H.F.M.W. and Runhaar, H.A.C. (2014). A Method for the Deliberate and Deliberative Selection of Policy Instrument Mixes for Climate Change Adaptation. Ecology & Society 19(2), 58. (Q1)
  • Mees, H.L.P., Driessen, P.P.J. and Runhaar, H.A.C. (2014). Legitimate adaptive flood risk governance beyond the dikes: the cases of Hamburg, Helsinki and Rotterdam. Regional Environmental Change 14(2), 671-682. (Q1)
  • Mees, H.L.P., Driessen, P.P.J., Runhaar, H.A.C. and Stamatelos., J. (2013). Who governs climate adaptation; Getting green roofs for storm-water retention off the ground, Journal of Environmental Planning and Management 56(6), 802–825. (Q1)
  • Mees, H.L.P., Driessen, P.P.J. and Runhaar, H.A.C. (2012). Exploring the scope of public and private responsibilities for climate adaptation. Journal of environmental Policy and Planning, 14(3), 305-330. (Q1)
  • Runhaar, H.A.C., Mees, H.L.P., Wardekker, J.A., Van der Sluijs, J.P. and Driessen, P.P.J. (2012). Adaptation to climate change related risks in Dutch urban areas: stimuli and barriers. Regional Environmental Change, 12, 777-790. (Q1)
  • Mees, H.L.P. and Driessen, P.P.J. (2011). Adaptation to climate change in urban areas: Climate-greening London, Rotterdam, and Toronto. Climate Law, 2(2), 251-280. (Q2) Associated Analytical Problems • Agency

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