Climate adaptation strategy in city of Delft

For Delft, 2018 was a year involving many extreme weather conditions. The city needs to adapt to the changing climate. Waterlogging has featured on the agenda for years and is the main decisive factor for urban spatial planning. However, in recent years, other issues such as heat stress are increasingly coming to the fore. In order to optimally adapt to these extreme weather conditions, the municipality has set down a climate adaptation strategy.

How was the strategy developed?

The Delft climate adaptation strategy (pdf, 13 MB) was drawn up by Tauw consultancy and De Urbanisten urban design office in collaboration with Stan.Water consultants, and using information from a number of municipal departments. The strategy comprises the following elements:

  • Stress tests, demonstrating how extreme weather is impacting the city;
  • Risk analysis, an analysis of stress tests to provide insight into the impact on vulnerable functions and into potential damage;
  • Exploration of solution strategies;
  • Climate adaptation agenda: the schedule to be implemented in the years ahead, in concert with residents, businesses, and organisations.

Main goals

The climate adaptation strategy is intended to help Delft to adapt its behaviour and to climate-proof the city. Important in this respect is for the municipality to collaborate with businesses and residents. With this strategy, the city of Delft is substantiating the national goals set down in the Delta Plan on Spatial Adaptation. In order to render Delft climate adaptive, the municipality will be addressing the following taskings:

  1. Delft is pursuing maximum water retention through a resilient system with a maximal sponge effect;
  2. Heat stress must not increase;
  3. The measures must be implemented in collaboration with residents and businesses, because more than 50 per cent of Delft’s surface area is privately owned;
  4. The measures require a customised approach, because they depend on local features;
  5. Climate-adaptive measures also open up opportunities to enhance the environment.

"The stress test is a simplification of reality, but does provide more insight into the broad climate adaptation tasking at the municipal level" – Municipality of Delft


The municipality will be amassing the insights and experience gained in a structural manner, in the form of an annual progress report. In addition, the stress tests will be repeated every six years in order to keep the models up to date.

The Climate Buddy project

In order to involve residents more closely in adaptation measures, Delft has initiated the Klimaatmaat [Climate Buddy] project. A climate buddy is someone from the neighbourhood who is familiar with local climate effects and who knows which measures are effective. Residents may ask the climate buddy for assistance or advice regarding measures they can implement themselves.

Lessons to be learned

During the process, the terminology was found occasionally to present difficulties for residents: “What exactly is a stress test? Can’t you use any other concepts?” The impact of climate change on biodiversity has not been taken into account in the climate adaptation strategy. In 2020, the municipality of Delft will be working this out within the framework of nature-inclusive building, in which respect it will tie in with the Nature climate adaptation dialogue that is being conducted under the National Adaptation Strategy.

Contact person

Therre van Blerck
Gemeente Delft

Project type
Adaptation plan/strategy
Gemeente Delft, Tauw, de Urbanisten & Stan.Water
Drought, Heat, Urban flooding, Waterlogging