BEGIN was presented at the NKWK Climate Resistant City project tour

26 June 2017 - Published by Ellen Kelder

On May 18, 2017 the fourth project visit of the NKWK Climate Resistant City (NKWK-CRC) project tour took place in Dordrecht. There were about a hundred participants and members of the local press.

The purpose of the NKWK-CRC is the enhancement of knowledge development and sharing, particularly through practical experiments and pilot projects.

Piet Sleeking, elderman of Dordrecht (Spatial Planning and Water) stated that Dordrecht not only has to deal with issues of flooding, but also with water levels that are too low, and drought. Increasing blue and green infrastructure in the city adds a lot of value, also in terms of an attractive living environment. Dordrecht is not yet sufficiently prepared for the consequences of climate change.

Cok Sas, director of the Water Authority 'Waterschap Hollandse Delta' said that while climate may be an abstract idea to many, 'the weather' is very much real and  specific. That makes it difficult to make people aware of Climate Adaptation. He made three suggestions: the Municipality and Water Authority have to (keep) working together, also plan work in collaboration with each other, including the phase of planning investments, and thirdly: make climate adaptation part of the plan from the very first beginning.

Ellen Kelder (from the Municipality of Dordrecht) presented some very nice examples of climate adaptation in Dordrecht. Among other things: the recently started Interreg-project BEGIN and the Living Lab. Meanwhile, Dordrecht has become one of the frontrunners in the field of climate adaptation. But we have a long road ahead of us. Citizen involvement is crucial.  

Project visits:

Four climate adaptation projects in Dordrecht were visited.

Plan Tij

‘Plan Tij’ is an impressive residential building project in the unembanked area. In this area the influence of tides has free play. The project has incorporated the natural environment of nearby national park de Biesbosch into the city, combining nature with the construction of upscale residences for the buying market. The houses have been built in a ‘water safe’ manner so they can deal with extremely high water level situations.

Dordtwijk area

The Dordtwijk area is a combination of park/forest areas and water zones. This blue green zone is an important corridor between wildlife areas and the city. Part of the project was to increase the water storage capacity. The Twintighoevenweg provided for 1.2 hectares of water through a cocreation project with the local residents.

Land van Valk

In the Land van Valk area, houses with shallow steel foundations were flooded in the early nineties of the past century. The neighborhood is built in an area that is prone to soil settlement, containing layers of clay and peat in the shallow subsoil. Since the neighborhood had been built the ground level has lowered ever since. As a consequence the houses with steel foundations lowered along. Houses on wooden piles have hardly lowered. This resulted in two types of groundwater problems in the neighborhood. The first problem was the lowering of the houses with steel foundations. The ground water level hadn’t lowered as much as the ground level, which caused groundwater flooding in this type of houses. The second problem is that the houses on wooden piles did not lower along with the ground level. Due to the lowering ground water level in the course of the years, in dry periods the foundation’s pile heads were dry, which caused deterioration of the wooden foundation (pile rot). The municipality of Dordrecht, in collaboration with other parties, searched for methods to influence the ground water level.

New Dordtse Biesbosch

The New Dordtse Biesbosch project started in 2016. It is in the rural part of the island of Dordrecht, and connects the Sliedrecht part of the national park Biesbosch with the Dordrecht part of it. As such, it is an important element in the Ecological Main Structure in The Netherlands. But it also connects with the Dordtwijk zone, and as such can contribute to a better water quality in that part of Dordrecht as well.


In the afternoon there were several workshops: Active Groundwater Level Management, Flooding Resulting from Heavy Rain, Initiating and Continuing a Cocreation Relationship, and a workshop 'Nature-Based Solutions'.