Our climate is changing. In the Netherlands, average temperatures are rising and rainfall distribution will change considerably. Possible effects will be a higher risk of flooding, as well as periods of drought and urban heating. The warming climate boosts opportunities for outdoor recreation, but may also have negative effects on our wellbeing (concentration problems, decrease in productivity) and air conditions (increased levels of fine dust). The design of our cities must accommodate these developments, in order to:
Until fairly recently, however, design methods and tools needed to shape the cities of the future were sparse and underdeveloped. This lack contrasts sharply with the ever-increasing urgency to prepare urban environments for climate change.
The predicament has led a consortium of BoschSlabbers Landscape Architects, Grontmij, Witteveen+Bos, Deltares and KNMI to develop the Climate App. The app offers information and inspiration, relevant to newbuild, reconstruction and/or renovation projects. On the basis of basic criteria such as scale, land use and type of project, the Climate App selects and organises relevant info. It provides quick insight into available options and opportunities. Easily accessible all over the globe, your list of possible measures is only a few clicks away.
– Clim Sorée, former designer BoschSlabbers
Tests have revealed that climate adaptation of urban environments is best served by a shared search for solutions – with the use of collaborative sketching and the Climate App as inspirational tool.
The tool supports the combination of different climate measures, on the scale of buildings, streets, urban districts and entire cities. Pilot projects in the cities of Rotterdam, Delft, Ho Chi Minh City, Copenhagen and New Orleans have shown that the Climate App is easy to comprehend and apply, and therefore ideal for workshops and training sessions with urban planners, designers, engineers, policy makers and different interest groups.
BoschSlabbers has a broad experience in climate adaptation. The Dutch Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and Environment (VROM) hired BoschSlabbers previously to gain insight into spatial opportunities of urban climate adaptation through design-based research. The design-based research highlights leading examples to inspire, and provides useful tools for municipalities, provinces and water boards.
The research process was divided into steps. First of all, desk research was done into the effects of climate change and ‘best practices’. This led to the development of two instruments; a ‘diagnostic’ climate map and a solution toolbox. Next, the industrial estates of Koningsplein in Arnhem and Transvaal in The Hague were studied in two design-based ‘ateliers’. The different scales of these pilot locations were worked through, to test the climate map and the toolbox in the field. Both climate map and toolbox were forerunners, integrated into the Climate App.
In a third atelier, the results were presented, together with a written final report that also included the desk research.
Title: Climate Adaptation & Climate App
Location: Transvaal (The Hague); business park Koningsplein in Arnhem
Client: Ministry of VROM; Climate for Space Foundation, Province of Utrecht and Climate Adaptation Services Foundation.
Cooperation: Deltares, Sweco, KNMI, Witteveen+Bos, Climate changes spatial planning
Duration: From 2010
Type: design research, test case, publication, application
Image credits: BoschSlabbers, Deltares
Project code: HO 12-16