BEGIN and the Dutch City Deal Climate Adaptation

26 June 2017 - Published by Ellen Kelder

Dordrecht is the initiator and lead partner of the Interreg BEGIN project. Dordrecht is also one of the participants in the Dutch 'City Deal Climate Adaptation'. There is an overlap in topics and issues and thus, both projects can benefit from each other's results.


The city deal 'value of blue and green in the city' is about the valuation in money of blue and green infrastructures in the city. We know for sure that the 'grey' infrastructure (sewerage system) is NOT flexible, and therefore not apt to deal with extreme weather conditions. The sewage pipes lie in the ground for 60 to a 100 years with the same diameter. In times of extreme rain fall the pipes cannot handle the quantity of water. There is a need for solutions above the ground to catch the water without any damage caused. This can be achieved by reducing pavement, creating water permeable streets draining the water to ditches or green locations, such as parks, thus avoiding any damage. The water will temporarily be stored in a 'overflow area', from where it can go back to the sewerage system or simply permeate the soil. We need this kind of blue green infrastructure. Its realization however is far from easy.


Value of blue and green

Therefore, we want to investigate what the value is of adding extra green and blue infrastructure in a city neighbourhood. The TEEB tool has been developed for this purpose. The city deal value of green and blue in the city wants to further develop this tool (as well as the Atlas Natural Capital 'Atlas Natuurlijk Kapitaal' (ANK). In BEGIN we also work with the Teeb tool to get an overview of the values. We have already used the tool for two parks, and recently the results have been presented. Bertus van der Veght participates on behalf of the Municipality of Dordrecht in this city deal.


Nature Based Solutions

Plan design incorporating more green and blue is far from easy. The Dordrecht soil mainly consists of clay, thus water does not easily permeates the soil. This requires specific solutions in design. The City Deal Climate Adaptation includes the theme 'Nature Based Solutions', that focusses on design solutions and tools. Which is what we do in BEGIN also. Therefore, blue green infrastructure design is an obvious link between the City Deal Climate Adaptation and BEGIN. 


Beneficiaries, stakeholders, investors

When you have a clear picture of the value of green and blue for certain 'services', the next step is to find the corresponding beneficiaries. Within BEGIN we look for the beneficiaries and want them to become stakeholders (owners, investors, codesigners or comanagers) to make the solutions financially feasible, and to actually create the blue and green infrastructures. In the City Deal Climate Adaptation there is also a theme 'Social Initiatives' that matches this aim of the BEGIN project. We try to find the stakeholders and stimulate them to become investors. This is a second link with the City Deal Climate Adaptation.


Share knowledge

Purpose of the Dutch City Deals is to share knowledge nationwide, but also to gain new knowledge from other Dutch cities. End of September 2017, there will be a directors meeting of the City Deal Climate Adaptation in Dordrecht. In short, we want to connect our networks, because they seamlessly connect in terms of content.