The Dutch climate is changing

by Dorus Vlierboom, supervised by Martine Rutten

The Dutch climate is changing. According to the KNMI the Netherlands will become warmer and receive more rain, but less frequent. Extreme rainfall, heat stress and drought will put higher pressure on our urban systems. To adapt to our future climate we need to create a more resilient urban environment. In 2017 partners in the province of Zuid Holland started the Climate Adaptive Building Covenant, where they create the guidelines for building future neighbourhoods. However, it is still unclear how these guidelines will affect the practice and if they reach the desired effects.

In Dordrecht they plan to build the new Amstelwijck quarters according to the covenant guidelines. Historically, the city has had many problems with water which led them to construct dikes and polders on south western marine clay flats. This system is used as a case study. The plans for these new neighbourhoods will first be tested with a simple water balance model. The guidelines can be investigated by assessment of different climate scenarios and interviews with involved stakeholders. “user centred design” could be applied to reach the right balance between effects and executability.

The goal of this research is to find out if these plans are robust to future changes and if the guidelines are executable to builders. Also, this model could help designers build climate adaptive cities in the future. This thesis could improve the implementation of climate adaptation in the urban built environment the Netherlands and make our cities more resilient and liveable.