Cities are vulnerable to the effects of climate change. The most efficient way to make cities more climate-proof is through tailored relatively small and local measures, which can often be carried out parallel to major maintenance or renovation work. These were the findings of a final report published by the Climate-Proof Cities research programme.
Climate Proof Cities (CPC) has yielded a considerable amount of knowledge on how to make Dutch cities more climate proof, with a focus on heat stress and flooding resulting from downpours. Together with Wageningen Environmental Research, the Meteorology and Air Quality and Landscape Architecture chair groups played a prominent role in the CPC study. ‘We made an essential contribution to the execution and analysis of meteorological measurements on all scale levels in the city,’ says co-author Bert van Hove from Wageningen University & Research. ‘We also made an important contribution to the further development of weather models in order to simulate future weather conditions to the neighbourhood scale. Using measurements and model simulations, we mapped out the current and future urban climate for Dutch cities and gained a better understanding of the processes that determine the climate and thermal comfort in the urban environment.’
Urban green infrastructure
Also essential to the CPC project was Wageningen’s contribution to the design of urban green infrastructure. The main question was how to use green urban landscape elements as effectively as possible to maintain the quality of life in our cities under changing climate conditions. Wageningen was also involved in the development of guidelines and tools for policy-makers and urban developers; to achieve a climate-proof and water-robust design for the city (www.ruimtelijkeadaptatie.nl).
Consortium universities and research institutes
The programme was carried out by a consortium of ten universities and research institutes. Besides Wageningen University and Wageningen Environmental Research, the consortium also included TNO, Deltares, TU Eindhoven, TU Delft, Utrecht University, Radboud University, Unesco-IHE, KWR and the University of Amsterdam. To answer practical questions, the group worked closely with Rotterdam, The Hague, Amsterdam, Utrecht, Arnhem, Rijswijk, Tilburg, the province of North Brabant, STOWA (Stichting Toegepast Onderzoek Waterbeheer, Foundation for Applied Water Research), Delfland High Water Board, Waternet, Waterschap Hollandse Delta, Schieland District Water Control Board, and the Krimpenerwaard, as well as the New Construction and Restructuring Delta Programme. Climate Proof Cities is part of the national Knowledge for Climate research programme, financed in part by the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment.