Cooperation PBL

Nieuws - 18 mei 2021

Research group Delta Urbanism and PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency[1] cooperate in a PBL program conducted for the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The program aims to (1) increase the knowledge on strategies on integrated planning and management and their potential to contribute to solving complex nexus challenges, and (2) the program also aims to find synergies between the various initiatives that are being funded and developed by the Dutch government worldwide.

To achieve inclusive and sustainable urban development, introducing water related Nature Based Solutions have proven to be effective in specific urban contexts. Different sources point out their contribution to various SDG’s in Europe, the United States and China, all regions with high GDP level, institutional and landscape context.

However, in countries that are poor, underdeveloped, have a weak institutional context, a high inequality  and are in extreme landscapes (around the equator) the experience with Nature Based Solutions is less extensive, embedded in a completely different context of applicability,  and also their effect on various SDGs has sparsely been evaluated.

The study will refer to this context as ‘vulnerable geographies’ in which the relationships between people and their environments is put central and acknowledged as a reciprocal relation. The notion of ‘extreme landscapes’ is defined as urbanized landscapes under extreme climatic conditions. More specifically this research will focus on too much (riverine, coastal and deltaic floods), too little and too polluted following the typology of  main water challenges developed in the publication the geography of future water challenges.

The outcomes of the study will inform the PBL project IWC-II: Water Climate and Adaptation - Pathways of Sustainable Solutions, and they will also contribute to the general knowledge of local variations in the effectiveness of water related nature based solutions. This can inform local, district and regional planners and policymakers, (representatives of) urban and rural stakeholders, public, private, customary and social organizations, and experts at the Dutch embassies and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Netherlands.

Given the cross-sectoral nature of urban planning, the results may also be very useful for informing discussions about (1) the relation between vernacular community practice in relation to technological innovations, (2) changing food systems in the context of urban-rural links, (3) the challenges of halting deforestation and the disappearance of agricultural areas due to the encroaching city, and (4) understanding of appropriate support in dealing with the challenges of climate change in such context.

[1]. PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency is the autonomous national research institute for strategic policy analysis in the fields of the environment, nature and spatial planning. PBL is part of the Dutch Government organization; more specifically, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management.