Infrastructure Networks Climate Adaptation & Hotspots

Infrastructure is the backbone of our society. Climate change influences the infrastructure. Heavy snowfall congests our roads and stops trains from leaving the stations. Drought can jeopardise our fresh water supply and thunderstorms can cause power outages. The worst case scenario is where one outage causes another and all systems fall down like dominos: electricity, internet, roads, rail roads and the water supply. Because these systems are so essential for the functioning of our society it is imperative that we take into account the consequences of climate change in a timely manner.


Research programme Knowledge for Climate studied the effects of climate change on the Dutch transport, energy and water supply structures. At the same time the programme studied and developed a strategy to adapt these structures to climate change.

Climate proofness of physical infrastructure

The main question when considering the climate proofness of infrastructure is “How many sub-surface conditions change and affect physical infrastructure?” 
Building on hydraulic and geotechnics engineering it have been investigated what effects can be expected, what their consequences may be, and by what measures they may be prevented or neutralized.

Socio-economic effects of climate change on main ports and urban infrastructure networks

The socio-economic effects of climate change have been identified via changes in the reliability and usability of transport and electricity infrastructures and via the physical infrastructure in the hotspot regions. Subsequently, the potential flexibility-oriented adaptation approaches have been developed.

Case Study: Botlek Area

In this case study we took a qualitative look at the consequences of climate change for the infrastructure and networks in the area around the Botlektunnel (read more).


Consortium Partners

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Network robustness and adaptation

The analysis of the infrastructure robustness is divided into three categories: 

  • What is the vulnerability of interconnected networks?
  • Short term adaptation: how to make existing infrastructure robust to climate change?
  • Long term: how can we develop climate change resilient infrastructure networks?

Adaptation strategies for hotspots

The three categories – physical infrastructure, network robustness and socio-economic effects – have been integrated and the knowledge obtained valorised by: 

  • Creating a platform for dialogue between researchers and practitioners
  • Developing a system model to assemble and structure (existing and new) knowledge
  • Making a compilation of flexible adaptation strategies

Hotspots and Stakeholders

Adjacent project

International Partners

International Partners theme 5
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