Climate Resilience

The climate is changing. This is affecting society and ecosystems. The Climate Resilience team investigates how vulnerable areas are to climate change - now and in the future - and what is needed to make these areas climate-proof.

We work in two different areas: urban and rural landscapes. The city is increasingly facing heavy rainfall, floods and heat waves. Due to climate change, the rural area also faces more frequent periods of excess water, alternating with periods of drought and increasing salinisation.

We work on climate resilience for, and closely with, policymakers, local authorities, the agri-food sector, and rural and urban planners. Both in the Netherlands and internationally. We use state-of-the-art climate models, data and artificial intelligence to visualise both the effects of climate change and the potential for smart adaptation and mitigation solutions. In doing so, we employ two research strategies:

Nature-based Solutions

To increase climate resilience, we seek smart solutions based on natural processes: Nature-based Solutions (NbS). Here, we look not only at the climate, but also at the connection with other issues, such as biodiversity, food, mobility and energy. In both urban and rural areas, we work on integrated spatial solutions and use natural processes in the landscape. Knowledge and data on soil, water and climate are at the basis of sustainable solutions. For example, we are researching the ability of landscapes to purify water and create a freshwater reserve, while at the same time contributing positively to biodiversity. An example is the integrated vision worked out for how the Netherlands will be future-proofed in a hundred years' time: The Netherlands in 2120.

Climate services

We work with the latest climate models and data to provide insight into the risks and opportunities in urban and rural areas as a result of climate change. Examples include mapping risks of heat stress and flooding in cities, or changes in crop yields and the effects of adaptation measures on these.

By linking climate data to other data (e.g. vegetation, groundwater), we work on Nature-based Solutions that are future-proof. For instance, we are working on the question "which type of trees can we plant where in the city in view of heat stress, flooding and drought caused by climate change, now and in the future?".