Steden en gemeenten adapteren

I. Coninx, R.A.F. van Och, R.J. Swart, H. Goosen, M.A.J.C. van Bijsterveldt, L.J.W. Masselink, K. Sips, Jan Vincke, Evita Bonné

Research output: Book/ReportReportProfessional


Cities and municipalities in Flanders will increasingly be confronted with the impacts of climate change. The
Department of LNE intends to support them by the prevention of and adaptation to these impacts by offering
an easily accessible toolbox with which local authorities can decrease their vulnerability. This toolbox will help
the local authorities to ease, in an ‘automatic’ way, to develop a local adaptation plan. This report proposes the
characteristics of such a toolbox. It is based on (i) an analysis of different steps in the adaptation decision-making
processes, (ii) a mapping of adaptation support needs of municipalities, (iii) an inventory and evaluation of existing
instruments for adaptation, (iv) the demonstration and testing existing instruments that meets the adaptation
support needs of local authorities and (v) a description of the Adaptation Toolbox for Flanders, based on the
Analysis of steps in adaptation processes. Based on an analysis of national and international adaptation processes
six steps are distinguished that shape the decision-making process of climate change adaptation at the local level:
fostering political commitment, climate impact and vulnerability analysis, identification of adaptation measures,
prioritizing and choosing adaptation measures, implementing measures, and monitoring and evaluation. In practice,
these steps will not always be taken subsequently but sometimes also in parallel. Stakeholder engagement is
relevant for all steps.
Adaptation support needs of local authorities. Information on adaptation support needs of local authorities was
analysed through a number of interviews with different types of municipalities across Flanders. Needs and desires
depend on factors such as the size of a municipality, the available staff and funds, the motivation of staff involved
and the progress made in developing climate plans. The willingness of a wide variety of municipalities to participate
and the interest in the issue appeared to be large, which also led to a very wide diversity of needs and wishes as to
the characteristics of a toolbox.
Analysis of existing methods and tools. An inventory resulted in about 89 existing methods and tools that could
be relevant for a Flemish toolbox, from Belgium, the Netherlands, and other Western countries. The tools were
organized and evaluated according to a number of aspects, such as their specific purposes, the accessibility, the
required level of expertise, the type of climate effects, the ease or complexity of application, the level of scale, the
type of output and the potential for transfer to an application in Flanders. Furthermore, benefits and pitfalls are
identified. The 89 instruments were structured in a decision tree to ease the search for the most appropriate tool.
Playzone. In a workshop, instruments that fit to the adaptation support needs were demonstrated and tested
by the participants for their applicability in the Flemish context. This exercise made clear that many of the tools
have potential, but need to be translated to the Flemish situation, and for non-Dutch tools, translated. Many of
them also require Flemish data. It is important that detailed data and other relevant information on climate risks
and vulnerabilities will become available for Flanders, where this is currently sometimes the cases for Antwerp
and a limited number of other cities and regions. This should preferably be at one location and compatible with
software systems used by Flemish municipalities. The toolbox should take the level of available knowledge and
human resources into account as well as the need to integrate climate change adaptation with other policy areas.
Participants confirmed the urgency of such a toolbox and also the feasibility.
Describing the Adaptation Toolbox. Based on the inteviews, the steering group consultations, the analyses and the
playzone activity recommendations are formulated for the Adaptation Toolbox for Flemish municipalities and cities.
Adaptation support needs and instrument specifications are fully considered. Recommendations are made on the
Adaptation Toolbox, including: (a) bringing together information on climate impact and vulnerability in a GIS viewer;
(b) a climate test for new and ongoing projects; (c) a database of adaptation measures, including information
on vulnerabilities, costs and effects; (d) a Climate Cuisine – a workshop to involve stakeholders in identifying
adaptation measures and developing an adaptation plan; (g) financial support on synergies in local budgets and
help to find national and European subsidies to finance adaptation measures. In addition to an online toolbox, we
recommend the development of an Adaptation Community where a lively dialogue will take place between local
authorities, provinces, companies, citizens, NGO’s and the Flemish authorities on adaptation practices and how to
develop than as efficient as possible.
Original languageDutch
Place of PublicationBrussel
Number of pages123
Publication statusPublished - 18 Dec 2015

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