Visualizing effects of climate change to support policy development in Flanders (Belgium)

By acknowledging that land use as well as spatial planning relates to climate change impacts, the Flemish Government has started a research project to understand which policy strategies in spatial planning could be effective in anticipating climate change mitigation (2000 Watt ambition), increasing its adaptive capacity and minimising climate related current risks such as heat stress, floods and droughts.


Alterra facilitated a participatory policy planning process involving policy makers, interest groups and scientists by:

  • Visualising the effects of climate change in Flanders for different climate models
  • Designing spatial solutions with the use of maps and guiding models
  • Organizing sketch workshops and conducting case studies


Three alternative spatial planning strategies were developed:

  1. Green-blue infrastructural networks: enhancing the resilience of buildings to climate change and nature and water inclusive development/houses
  2. Compact city and urban sprawl including identified areas for growth and opportunities for transport minimalisation
  3. Energy landscapes with space for renewable energy sources

The research has contributed to a shift from sectoral spatial planning to a more integrated and climate proof planning approach.

In DenkTanks hebben stakeholders ruimtelijke klimaatknelpunten geïdentificeerd