Adaptation Support Tool – supporting stakeholders in climateproofing cities


Blue Green Dream

The Adaptation Support Tool supports nature-based climateproofing of urban environments, with a co-design approach and quantified output. The tool was succesfully applied in frontrunner cities in Europe, USA and Africa.

Tool to involve stakeholders in city adaptation practice

These days most cities are aware of their vulnerability for climate change impacts. They are ready for the next step, actual adaptation, and are looking for succesful approaches on how to implement adaptation measures in city practice. How to get local city stakeholders to the point that they get really involved, and that a joint adaptation plan for a street, neighbourhood, or city district can be designed? The Adaptation Support Tool (AST) was developed to do just that: enable planners, designers and stakeholders to explore which opportunities are (cost)effective and fit in the plan area. Using the tool stakeholders can easily identify their real estate and other assets, and introduce various green-blue measures to the plan area that may improve the adaptation capacity. The tool will instantly show the quantified contribution these measures are expected to make towards a range of adaptation indicators and costs. The AST thereby focuses on the added value of nature-based solutions for climate adaptation. Nature provides cost-effective solutions, that often stakeholders are not aware of. The AST therefore provides answers to questions like: what are the benefits of green roofs, green walls or even urban parks for my plan area, what are the costs in construction and maintenance, and how do these nature-based measures perform in comparison with traditional civil engineering?

Stakeholders in Beira (Mozambique) working with the Adaptation Support Tool
Stakeholders in Beira (Mozambique) working with the Adaptation Support Tool

How does the tool work?

The tool is built upon a large database of key figures on the performance of more than 60 nature-based and other solutions concerning water quantity (retention capacity, run-off speed), water quality, heat stress reduction and costs. These key figures (and accompanying calculation rules) are derived from a scientific literature review and best practices. In the movie at this webpage you will see how the tool works. Hereby some comments on the different steps. First, at the left screen the tool will start by asking users to provide some quick insights on the location and characteristics of their plan area and set their adaptation targets (what to achieve at your location in terms of climate adaptation?). Next, the 60+ measures are presented, ranked on their suitability for the plan area and the specific adaptation targets. Measures can then be selected and drawn in the plan area (map at central part of the tool interface). Some additional information, e.g. on the substrate depth of green roofs, is asked when selecting a measure. By doing so, local stakeholders can work together to built up spatial scenarios of nature-based solutions for their plan area, based upon each preference. At the right screen of the tool interface the overall contribution towards adaptation targets as well as the specific contribution of each single measures is being displayed. As such, stakeholders will see instantly what impact their suggested measures will have on the adaptation capacity of the project area, and what level of costs is. All in all, the AST really supports stakeholders in finding a joint adaptation design that is (cost)effective.

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Current applications

The Adaptation Support Tool was developed in a close collaboration between Deltares, Wageningen Environmental Research and Bosch & Slabbers, as part of the Blue Green Dream project (Climate KIC). The AST was so far (2017) applied in London (UK), Berlin (D), Utrecht (NL), Beira (Mozambique), Tilburg (NL), New Orleans (USA), Oaxaca (Mex) and Eindhoven (NL), and was used for climateproofing buildings, streets, residential neighbourhoods, business sites and city districts. Recently, a number of other cities has shown interest in using the Adaptation Support Tool for their practices.