Lingewaard Local Adaptation Strategy
In February 2022, the municipality of Lingewaard adopted the Local Adaptation Strategy (LAS). In part, the strategy is based on the views of local residents and entrepreneurs on climate-proofing the area. The strategy is intended to have the municipality climate-proof by 2050. Under the strategy, in addition to preparing for extreme weather, the municipality will also be working on better and cooler spots for leisure activities in the natural environment.
What does a climate-proof Lingewaard look like?
Lingewaard will regard itself as a climate-proof municipality if the following characteristics are met:
- The municipality is more resilient against heat;
- It is more resilient against prolonged periods of drought;
- During extreme downpours, the municipality manages to cope with waterlogging;
- Tourist and recreational facilities are climate-proof;
- Nature and the landscape are climate-proof.
How does the municipality intend to achieve this?
In the pursuit of climate resilience, the municipality has developed four strategy lines and six project themes. These are presented on the right-hand side of the image below. The project themes specify what the municipality will be addressing, whilst the strategy lines specify the intended approach.
What will the municipality be addressing?
Within six themes, the municipality will initiate concrete projects:
- Heat on the map: the municipality is developing maps that identify municipal locations prone to heat issues, such as locations where vulnerable residents are especially inconvenienced by heat. The municipality will be using such maps for plans and policies. The municipality will ensure that a heat plan will be available by the summer of 2022.
- Putting a stop to cracking: over recent years, prolonged drought has caused crack formation in houses. In collaboration with the Rivierenland district water board, the municipality will be exploring measures to help the residents of the affected houses.
- Attractive outdoor swimming water: the municipality expects that the warmer and longer summers will encourage residents to engage in outdoor leisure activities more frequently. For that reason, it intends to safeguard the quality of the (natural) outdoor swimming locations by, e.g., ensuring clean swimming water and sufficient shade.
- Green Greener Greenest: Lingewaard is greening. Not only will the municipality embark on greening the public space, it also intends to encourage residents and businesses to replace pavement with greenery.
- Climate-proof construction: Lingewaard will see a great deal of construction in the years ahead. The municipality insists on climate-proof construction methods in order to minimise or prevent any nuisance and damage caused by heat, drought, extreme rainfall, and river water.
- Lingewaard climate awareness: the municipality intends to raise awareness of climate change and climate adaptation among its residents and businesses. A website has already been set up: klimaatbestendig.lingewaard.nl. In addition, good examples will be provided of street-level measures, and climate lessons will be taught in schools.
How does the municipality intend to achieve its goals?
The four strategy lines set out how the municipality intends to approach these projects:
- Informing and enticing: the municipality intends to raise awareness of the risks and opportunities entailed in climate change. In addition, it intends to make adaptation fun!
- Setting a good example: by taking measures of its own, the municipality is setting a good example, thus expediting the adoption of climate adaptation.
- Embedding climate adaptation: from now on, the municipality will be taking a climate-proof view of all its plans. Thus, it intends to ensure that climate-proof thought and action will become the “new normal”.
- Focus on priorities: the municipality will be starting off with measures that are easily executed and have a major impact. Meanwhile, the municipality will be preparing longer-term measures.
How has the municipality developed its adaptation strategy?
A project group of eight representatives of several policy departments has been working on the strategy. It has developed the strategy on the basis of the stress test, six climate meetings, and a survey. More details on the stress test, the climate meetings, and the survey are provided in the green box below.
In 2019, the municipality conducted a local stress test (pdf, 11 MB) (pdf). In the purview of this stress test, the municipality utilised, inter alia, the regional stress test conducted by the collaborating parties in the Rivierenland region. The region’s climate vulnerabilities are reflected on the maps of the Rivierenland Region Climate Impact Atlas. The municipal local climate stress test revealed that climate adaptation does not require any urgent investments. It is, however, imperative for the municipality to take action now, in order to prevent damage and higher costs as a result of future climate effects.
Following the stress test, the municipality set up six climate meetings with residents, officials, and other stakeholders, such as housing corporations, nature organisations, landscape organisations, and the community health service. The reports and video footage of the climate meetings are available on the municipal website.
The municipality has also conducted a survey among residents, entrepreneurs, municipal staff, and council members. The survey enquired after their views of climate adaptation and ideas on enhancing municipal climate resilience. The survey was completed by more than 900 people.
The survey shows that many people set store by climate adaptation. More than half of the respondents have already taken measures around their own house or garden, such as replacing pavement with greenery and cutting back on spraying during periods of drought. According to most of the respondents, the municipality needs to play an active part in climate adaptation. The highest priority was given to measures to combat drought and heat. The outcomes of the survey are contained in the Results of Climate Adaptation Study report (pdf, 643 kB), whilst all the individual answers are listed in the open answer report (pdf, 621 kB).
What are the next steps?
Based on this adaptation strategy, the municipality has also drawn up an implementation agenda. Every five or six years, the municipality will be conducting a new stress test and draw up a new implementation agenda.
Lessons to be learned
The following three lessons can be learned from the municipality of Lingewaard:
- Use available information for the local stress test. First, collect all the information that is already available. In many cases, a great deal of useful information can be found within or outside the municipal organisation. Subsequently, explore only the information that has added value.
- Use a good survey to obtain input. A survey enables retrieval of important information. Ensure that the survey is of good quality and that it is properly disseminated. This will yield many responses.
- Incorporate adaptation staff in the strategy and in the implementation agenda. Indicate from the very start that staff will be needed to man the new policy domain of climate adaptation. Link the required staffing funds to the adoption of the LAS and of the implementation agenda.
Kees de Jong