COcreating LANdscape based aDaptation of urban regions enhancing biodivERsity (Het Ronde Landschap)

Cities face major challenges such as increasing population pressure, energy transition, urban densification, the prevention of flooding and heat stress and the decline of biodiversity. The rural area also has its challenges. Flooding or water shortages cause problems in agriculture and changing temperatures and water availability affect biodiversity. There is also the need to use primary sources more circularly by closing cycles. The landscape and nature offer all kinds of solutions that can help to effectively and sustainably meet these challenges.

Het Ronde Landschap / Landscape in the Round investigates green and landscape-driven climate adaptive solutions that also contribute to biodiversity or link up with the circular use of water, nutrients and biomass. Het Ronde Landschap/ Landscape in the Round is based on a so-called "landscape-based approach", with the emphasis on using and stimulating nature or green infrastructure for climate adaptation. With nature-based solutions, solutions are often sought within the scale level of the project area. In COLANDER we will also look for solutions at a higher scale level, the landscape level. On high sandy soils in particular, it is important to look for spatial relationships at this higher scale level. After all, solutions for lower-lying areas can often be found through a better understanding of the processes and properties of the landscape also in higher areas, for example in the case of flooding in cities on the lower reaches of streams.

In Het Ronde Landschap/ Landscape in the Round we take local characteristics in soil and hydrology into account in finding solutions - the horizontal landscape relationships. We call this landscape based solutions. In order to be able to take both regional and urban conditions into account when searching for suitable solutions, Het Ronde Landschap/ Landscape in the Round works in at least two case studies: one at regional and one at urban level. The cases are selected in such a way that they can be related to each other, can inform and inspire each other. This project focuses on two case studies on the high sandy soils, because here the relationship between upstream areas and (often downstream) cities is of great importance in the search for solutions. The cases are projects that are carried out by WUR for external clients. 

The project Het Ronde Landschap/ Landscape in the Round provides the opportunity to learn more from these cases: We explore the needs, context and scope of these type of projects; we add or extend the circularity and nature inclusiveness objective; we draw conclusions about the knowledge, methods and tools used and make recommendations for their improvement.We see the cases as social-ecological systems. To come up with solutions for the challenges in case study areas, it is therefore of great importance to do this in collaboration with important actors (governments, companies and civil society organizations) in these areas. We are looking for solutions that make use of natural processes in the landscape and that are an integral answer to multiple challenges in the area on adaption, biodiversity and/or circularity.

In addition, we investigate how Het Ronde Landscape contributes to the broader transition process in the case study areas towards more biodiversity, circularity and climate adaptation. We learn from this whether and how the landscape approach contributes to the transition of areas to a biodiverse, circular and climate-adaptive society.