We brought together 60 Dutch municipalities, water boards, and businesses to discuss climate adaptation in a working conference. What are the current complexities in adapting our living environment to extreme heat, periods of drought, and changing rainfall patterns? These adaptations are often complex, multi-stakeholder, and multidisciplinary. This conference aimed to address how to manage these effects in terms of infrastructure, management, and financing.
Who will invest first when many others benefit?
How do you enable co-financing in developing urban resilience?
What challenges are there to strategic and integrated asset management?
This conference allowed us to explore these vital questions with the Dutch Deltaprogramma. With the participation of over 60 partners, we found that many local governments and businesses find it difficult to arrange deals and shift to goals and projects with more meaningful change.
This lack of progress is due to several reasons, mostly due to a lack of locally available knowledge - while assets are available, they are relatively ignored and underutilized.
Except's Bart Stoffels moderated the working conference organized together with Chantal Klaver, ORG-ID, Sterk Consulting, and AT Osborne, the latter also being the host with their lovely historic coach house.
The session concluded with a lively debate and resulted in defined calls for action. Firstly, focus on stronger alliances to share knowledge and best practices. Platforms such as Rioned, Klimaatverbond, The United Waterboards and ‘Watertorenberaad’ need to catalyze this process.
Secondly, banks and insurance companies to start sharing the responsibilities of their client’s situations. The Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment agreed to contribute by challenging the financial sector on this point. It’s better to invest in resilience now than pay for damages once done.
The conference increased the demands on various players in the decision-making chain, from national platforms to financial institutions, to be rolled out with the support of the Dutch Ministery of Infrastructure and the Environment
The Dutch report of the working conference is available at ruimtelijkeadaptatie.nl.
Nov. 15, 2015
Urban planner, process manager
Except Integrated Sustainability