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Climate Resilience and Urban Water Management : A Comparative Analysis of Cities in the Province of Overijssel, the Netherlands

Reitsma, Jelle (2018) Climate Resilience and Urban Water Management : A Comparative Analysis of Cities in the Province of Overijssel, the Netherlands.

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Abstract:Climate change is one of the most challenging problems faced in urbanized areas today. Droughts and periods of heavy rainfall occur more often and cause more severe damages, which can have large negative effects on the build environment. The conventional urban water management is unsuitable to cope with the current and future challenges. One of the main reasons for this unsuitability is that the hard measures, for example increasing the capacity of the sewage system, are not sufficient to deal with the effects of climate change. To make cities resilient to the effects of climate change the urban water management should be improved. Several cities in the Netherlands and in the province of Overijssel are already doing efforts towards climate resilience through improving their urban water management systems. They have used certain approaches to develop and design these efforts. There is however no comprehensive overview of the approaches that these cities used, or have been using, to develop and design the efforts they made so far. Furthermore, there is little knowledge about the results of the application of these approaches, and about the successes and failures of these approaches. This study addresses these knowledge gaps in order to identify lessons learned on the successes and failures, which can be used by governmental organizations like municipalities, water authorities, and provinces in choosing and improving current and future climate adaptation processes and efforts. This research focusses on six cities in Overijssel: Enschede, Zwolle, Hengelo, Almelo, Deventer, and Kampen. The research aims to create knowledge on the approaches used and their results to reach a comprehensive understanding of the efforts of six cities within Overijssel towards becoming climate resilient. It also aims to generate comparative insights for exchanging lessons learned on the successes and failures. For this purpose, data was gathered by conducting interviews with experts from governmental organizations related to the selected cities on the approaches and results of climate adaptation projects. This resulted in data on the nature of the approaches, the actual results, the assessment of the project, and lessons learned. This data, together with theory on approaches, resulted in an inductive comparison framework. This framework was used to analyse the approaches and results of 20 projects that were (being) implemented in the six cities. Based on the nature of the climate adaptation measures taken, the projects were divided into nine categories. Within these categories, the projects were compared to each other in order to identify differences and similarities between the projects and the lessons learned. Based on the lessons learned per category and the data collected through the interviews, five general lessons are identified as well. Four of these focus on the planning and design phases of projects, and one focusses on the processes at municipal level and their progress regarding climate adaptation. Another insight is the set of conditions that define a successful project regarding climate adaptation in urban areas. These conditions are as follows: 1) the collaboration between all stakeholders is excellent from the planning phase until the end of the project, 2) climate adaptation within the project is integrally linked to other projects and interests, 3) the project/measure is well integrated into the environment, and 4) the project adds value to the quality of the public space by creating water experience and water awareness. This research makes recommendations about follow-up research, 1) To perform a similar type of research as this one for a larger area and for more cities, 2) to interview more than one person for each organization, 3) to only compare projects to each other within cities which have the same perception of successful climate adaptation projects. This research also makes recommendations to governmental organizations which initiate, are involved, and/or manage climate adaptation measures, 1) to monitor all climate adaptation measures and to perform an official evaluation for each climate adaptation project, 2) to apply the lessons learned by this research per category in case similar project as the ones in the categories will be implemented, 3) to apply the general lessons learned at each climate adaptation project and, 4) to ensure that the conditions for successful projects are fulfilled in each project.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:43 environmental science
Programme:Environmental and Energy Management MSc (69319)
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