A consortium of 10 universities and knowledge institutes have just completed a four year research programme in order to make cities more climate proof. The team focused on heat stress, flooding and heavy rain fall in a short period of time. The Flood Resilience Group of UNESCO-IHE provided a substantial contribution to the programme.
Integrated CC adaptation strategy
The main findings in the study stated that all Dutch cities, big and small, are vulnerable for the effects of climate change. However, the degree of vulnerability varies greatly within urban areas. This means that increasing the climate resilience of cities can be done in the most effective way by taking many relatively small and local measures. Many of them can be carried out simultaneously with already planned major repairs or renovations. Collaboration with many parties is needed to make this work.
The Flood Resilience Chair Group at UNESCO-IHE provided a substantial contribution to the Climate Proof Cities project, focusing on the vulnerability as well as on the adaptation to climate change induced natural hazards.
By adapting the so-called “adaptation tipping point method”, the emphasis of assessing the hazards and subsequent impacts was shifted from space to time; offering insight in how long current management strategies are able to provide the required service level under different climate change scenarios. In a similar fashion, an operation adaptation strategy was developed that incorporates urban redevelopment as an opportunity to incorporate climate change adaptation measures.
By mainstreaming adaptation measures into the refurbishment and renewal cycles of our urban environment, an integrated climate change adaptation strategy is offered that does not depend on large investments in stand-alone measures and has the added value that it can cope with future uncertainties and changing standards. For more information please contact William Veerbeek or Chris Zevenbergen.