The programme design is based on questions from real life. Cities defined their main issues concerning climate adaptation including water and heat issues, questions on problem definition, adaptation measures and governance. These issues were translated into 5 main policy questions:
- How will climate change influence Dutch cities, and how and to which extent do cities affect the local climate themselves?
- How vulnerable are Dutch cities for climate change, and what will be the impacts?
- Which measures and strategies are available to improve the adaptive capacity of cities?
- How to implement these measures in urban areas?
- What will be the balance of urgency, costs and benefits?
The structure of the work packages is based on these policy questions.
To ensure that effective and coherent adaptation measures and strategies are being developed for the urban environment, a thorough understanding of processes of the Urban Climate System (UCS) is essential. This includes understanding of weather, air quality and climate phenomena from meso-scale to micro-scale. In addition, more quantitative information regarding the UCS is needed. The aim of WP1 is to provide this information, both from observations and model simulations. Read more.
The aim of WP2 is to analyse the sensitivity of buildings, neighbourhoods and people, and their vulnerability to the expected climate changes. This knowledge is used to answer the questions: What are the potential impacts of climate change, considering the important uncertainties involved, and when and where are adaptation measures needed? This work package is driven by the KNMI climate change scenarios and their supplements, and is especially intended as a supporting work package to WP3. Read more.
The main research question in WP3 is: Which measures can be taken for climate robustness of cities, neighbourhoods and buildings, and what is their efficiency and effectiveness? The themes for this work package aim to cover the entire range of measures for climate robustness: green interventions, dealing with precipitation at the buildings and city level, the combined approach to water and energy, and spatial and technical design measures at various scales. Resulting measures imply climate adaptation, climate mitigation and an approach we could call climate pro-activation, i.e. utilising climate characteristics optimally in the urban and building design. Read more.
The central aim of WP4 is to provide new insights in the way climate adaptation can be introduced into the existing spatial planning processes. Research is based on the knowledge that urban planning is in itself a highly complex process in which a lot of significant and (mostly) conflicting interests of different actors are competing, and that climate adaptation measures do not represent a so-called ‘strong interest’ whose integration into urban processes need no support. Read more.
To be useful for policymaking, the results from work packages 1-4 and the different cases have to be combined and included in an integrated assessment of the need and possibilities of adaptation in cities. WP5 brings together information on a suite of policy questions: What is the impact of global and regional climate change scenarios on Dutch cities, in other words, "what would it cost if we did nothing?"; what are appropriate policy responses in each of these scenarios, and how much would these cost; and what would be needed to implement adaptation strategies? Read more.