Climate adaptation signalling chart
  • Province of North-Holland
  • Province of North-Holland
  • 2021
  • Leonoor, Sander

Many people will now be familiar with the term ‘climate adaptation’. It is clear to most of us that weather extremes are becoming more and more visible, as is the need for us to adapt to them. Local authorities are now aware that something must be done to ensure their communities are able to continue to enjoy a comfortable living environment. This is also true for the province of North Holland. The complexity of these tasks means we have been asked to guide North Holland on this issue.

The province of North Holland has identified climate adaptation as one of the main challenges it will face in area development over the coming years. In its 2020 provincial strategy, the province sets out which role and tasks it will be taking on with respect to climate adaptation. Key to this will be how these will tie in with other area development tasks, in particular sustainable urbanisation and mobility, energy transition and the circular economy, and circular agriculture and biodiversity. If the province of Noord-Holland is to become climate resilient and future-proof, climate adaptation must be inextricably linked to all these tasks.

This will necessitate a better understanding of the effects and risks of the changing climate in the province and how to turn these risks into a framework for action. The threats posed by the changing climate and which are relevant to climate adaptation are many and varied. They range from heat, drought, water availability, water quality, soil quality, biodiversity and subsidence to flooding and inundation. In addition, we can envisage various extreme climate scenarios looming on the time horizon of 2050 and beyond. There is a need for an instrument that can help clarify the urgency of the threats, provide a framework for action and support the making of choices. The province is considering a ‘climate adaptation signalling chart’ that would satisfy these needs and support the province in the climate-resilient and future-proof district planning.

The province of North Holland intends to commission an external party to develop this instrument. This will require the careful formulation of what the intended end product needs to be. &Flux has been asked to conduct a preliminary study and to oversee the commissioning of the development of the climate adaptation signalling chart.

This summer, we launched the preliminary study for the province of North Holland. We are questioning stakeholders from a variety of user perspectives about what insights the product should deliver. These insights could include the visualisation of flood risks, excess water, drought, heat stress and localised subsidence.

The envisaged finished product should help the province and its regional partners achieve climate-resilient area development in North Holland in future.

We are hugely enthusiastic about this project and have therefore set ourselves the following goals:

  1. The climate adaptation signalling chart will support the province in its decision-making processes and consequently the specific design of climate-resilient area development combined with the other functions and transitions that North Holland needs to embrace.    
  2. The climate adaptation signalling chart will need to provide clear and user-friendly insight into the various threats, their level of urgency and how the opportunities in the region relate to other tasks and functions. The signalling chart will have to answer the following questions:  
  • What are the different threats arising from the changing climate in the province and where exactly will they occur?
  • Where will the level of urgency be highest and where will the province need to act first?
  • What will be the impact of and sensitivity to different climate scenarios?
  • Where are the areas most at risk from a system-relevant function?
  • Where are the greatest opportunities in the province and where is the interface with other sustainability and regional projects?
  • Where do threats and opportunities meet?
  • What is the expected effectiveness of measures in different places?
  • What are the specific frameworks for action in different places?

As soon as these goals have been achieved and the questions answered, we will be able to say that we have put together a unique product.

To be continued!!!!

Ons Team

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