NKWK focus area: Climate-proof Cities

Urban environments accommodate more than half of the Dutch population, and this number is rising. Consequently, it is important for cities and their environments to be structured in a climate-proof and water-resilient manner. What are the best measures to this effect? This is the key question in the Climate-proof City focus area, one of the fourteen focus areas of the National Water and Climate Knowledge and Innovation Programme (NKWK-KBS). This focus area seeks to develop and share knowledge on climate-proof and water-resilient urban planning. The procedures employed to this end are explained here. Would you like to contribute to these studies or to knowledge sharing? Instructions on how to apply are listed below.

How is knowledge being developed?

A research consortium comprising some 10 to 15 knowledge institutes and consultancies is developing new knowledge in the purview of the Climate-proof City focus area. These institutes and consultancies are conducting studies in various combinations. For example, they will explore the societal costs and benefits of climate adaptation measures, ways to link climate adaptation with other transitions, and ways to monitor climate adaptation. Over recent years, the research consortium has compiled a comprehensive NKWK-KBS Knowledge Agenda (pdf, 1.7 MB), which constitutes an important basis for the selection of new studies. In addition, they will use questions from actual practice for their studies; such questions are submitted via the Climate-proof Together Platform.

Research results

In 2020, the research consortium conducted six studies, four of which were new:

  • How can a city’s climate resilience be monitored?
  • How can social resilience and climate adaptation reinforce one another?
  • How can the vulnerability of vital and vulnerable functions be assessed, and what is needed to properly protect them?
  • How do climate change and adaptation measures impact urban water quality?

In addition, the consortium has been working on the further development of the Climate Damage Atlas and the Climate-proof Cities Toolbox. More information on these studies conducted in 2020 is provided in a news release (in Dutch). The research reports are listed in the right-hand column of this page.

How is knowledge being shared?

Since 2016, the National Water and Climate Knowledge and Innovation Programme has been organising the NKWK-KBS project tour within the framework of the Climate-proof City focus area. This tour covers a range of climate adaptation projects in the Netherlands. It liaises between parties seeking knowledge and parties providing expertise, enabling them to exchange know-how and practical experience. The NKWK-KBS project tour has already called on the following ten locations: the Twentse Stedenband, Culemborg, Nijmegen, Dordrecht, Alkmaar, Amersfoort, Renkum (PDF, 1.8 MB), Wolvega (PDF, 4.8 MB), Zoeterwoude-Rijndijk, and Kampen (PDF, 2.6 MB). Every project visit was attended by 75 to over 100 delegates, and generally passed off in an enthusiastic atmosphere.

Knowledge Papers

Over recent years, NKWK-KBS has published three knowledge papers: Natte Krant [Wet Paper] (PDF, 1.6 MB)Droge Kost [Dry Stuff] (PDF, 1.7 MB), and Heet Nieuws [Hot News] (PDF, 1.8 MB). The first knowledge paper is a special issue on waterlogging, the second one is focused on drought, and the third one focuses on heat. In 2020, a knowledge paper will be published on reducing the impact of urban flooding.

Would you like to contribute?

Would you like to contribute to the Climate-proof City focus area? There are two ways in which you can take part:

  • Have you realised an interesting climate adaptation project in your municipality, province or water board district? And would you like to exchange the experience gained with other professionals or pick their brains regarding a potential follow-up project? Then apply for a project visit: nkwk-kbs@waterenklimaat.nl.
  • Would you like to contribute to setting up or conducting a study in your capacity as a municipality, province or district water board? Then apply via nkwk-kbs@waterenklimaat.nl.