Dutch-style interactive modelling of heat islands, indoor overheating and pluvial water management


At the end of the three days of Resilient Cities 2014, four researchers and one policy advisor, all Dutch, fittingly offered attendants three valuable practical tools for resilience and adaptation planning.

Session name: Workshop: Practical Tools from the Climate Proof Cities Project.

The Climate Proof Cities Project has, among other topics, been instrumental for research performed and models created on:

    • Urban heat vulnerability mapping in Amsterdam and Rotterdam, presented in the session by Alexander Wandl (Researcher, Technological University Delft) and illustrating the vast usefulness of high-resolution mapping of a city’s heat island effect;
    • Vulnerabiity typology of buildings for heat waves, research by Twan van Hooff but presented by Vera Rovers (Researcher, Nelen en Schuurmans, Amsterdam) and in great detail exploring how the number of overheating hours differ depending on the type of housing, the amount of insulation and the facade orientation, coming up with useful recommendations;
    • and Prevention of pluvial flooding through the vulnerability and design tool 3Di, presented by Floor Speet (Researcher, Nelen en Schuurmans, Amsterdam) and showing the advantages, in terms of being high resolution friendly, interactive, web-based and quick, of the 3Di Waterbeher (Water Management) modelling software. Eljakim Koopmans (Senior Policy Advisor, Waternet, Amsterdam) has used 3Di to plan interventions in the Watergraafsmeer area of Amsterdam. Their use of the software testifies to how intelligently visualized data or model runs can invoke a larger sense of urgency to decision makers – especially if your software includes support for 3D glasses!

After the session I enjoyed a short interview with Peter Bosch, facilitator of the session and Research Scientist at TNO in Utrecht:

Briefly, how would you describe the Climate Proofing Cities Project and and advantages?

“It is a large inter-disciplinary research project involving many different research institutions, cities and firsm in the Netherlands. Gathering input from multiple stakeholders has made it creative and innovaitve.”

To you, is ‘climate proofing’ the same as ‘adaptation’? The same as ‘resilience’?

“When we started off around the concept of climate proofing cities, we did so on the notion of adaptation. But now, almost three years later, we tend to speak more about resilience. This has mainly to do with how the economic crisis decreased available finance for dedicated adaptation projects. Resilience has shown itself to be more popular “brand-wise” and also more conducive to being implemented within projects that are going to happen anyway, such as reconstruction work.”

The Climate Proofing Cities Project as it currently exists is set to conclude later this year – will this crucial research continue elsewhere or what will happen?

“In September an important government decision is taken within the framework of the Delta program, which is the Dutch government’s body for funding decisions on climate change projects. So we are hoping for a positive outcome from there.”

Tim Isaksson
Student, Lund University

Tim Isaksson