Combining spatial claims of land use functions and adaptive strategies to climate change in densely populated rural areas (HSDR02)

The Brabant countryside – although still retaining a rural character – is a densely populated and regulated area in the south of the Netherlands. Demands for available space are many and often conflicting, and land prices are high. Adaptive measures to cope with climate change impacts (e.g. rainstorms, floods, droughts, heat waves) can be space consuming, adding even more pressure on available land. This project aimed at exploring the possibilities of multifunctional land use as an instrument for adaptation strategies in sandy rural regions in the province of Noord-Brabant.

With multifunctional land use this project refered to the combination of multiple spatial functions, which can be divided in four dimensions: 1) intensifying; 2) interwoven functions; 3) layering; and 4) different uses during the year/time period. The project has focused both on practice and the application of scientific theory and knowledge.

The project has produced the following results: 1) An overview and analyses of the practical application of multifunctional land use as a climate adaptation strategy; 2) Insights in how to generate ideas for multifunctional land use and how to implement them; and 3) A business case in which a multifunctional land use idea based on water, nature and energy was further analysed.

The most important conclusions of the project are 1) Multifunctional land use is a useful adaptation strategy; 2) More coalitions are possible when reasoning from a concept such as Multifunctional land use; 3) Connecting ideas to a location or area helps stakeholders to get insight more quickly and also to decide whether to stop or continue a project; 4) A business plan approach is a useful way to investigate how to implement multifunctional land use as an adaptation strategy in practice, however, the approach is a means and not a goal in itself; 5) The approach of the project was from a technology push perspective. When it is applied in a broader context Multifunctional land use has to be one of the options considered in a more open setting.

The project aimed at concept implementation. Whether the concept was also useful from a decision makers perspective has not played a major role. If a broader implementation is considered for Multifunctional land use as an adaptation strategy a task lies ahead for the different responsible government institutions (Province and Water boards).

publications | final report