Our CATCH '22 Symposium was a great success!

25 January 2023 - Published by Manon van de Riet
It was end november 2022 when The Academiehuis | Grote Kerk in the city of Zwolle, Netherlands opened its doors for our CATCH '22 Symposium: 'In leaps and bounds to the water sensitive city'!


On request, the guests jump into the air out of joy with the results achieved in CATCH. From right to left in the foreground we see Stefan Kuks, chair of Vechtstromen Regional Water Authority; climate alderman Arjan Spaans of the municipality of Zwolle; Prof. Dr. Helge Bormann from the Jade University in Oldenburg; CATCH project leader Manon van de Riet, Vechtstromen Regional Water Authority; Julia Oberdörffer from the German CATCH partner OOWV Oldenburg; Annemiek Wiegman and Renate Postma, projectleaders CATCH partner Zwolle Municipality; Gul Özerol, University of Twente; Ulla Pia Geertsen, Danish CATCH partner from the city of Vejle; Willem Jan Goossen, Directorate General European Commission for Climate; Susan Lijzenga, assistant Project leader from Reeleaf; and Marjolein Boot, on behalf of the Province of Overijssel.

One thing became paramount at the CATCH '22 Symposium: European cooperation indeed helps tp accelerate climate adaptation.

About 80 guests attended the CATCH symposium at the Grote Kerk in Zwolle. The many presentations and workshops of the proud CATCH partners demonstrated how the CATCH pilots and the Adapt My City tool helped to accelerate climate adaptation in the participating cities in the North Sea Region.

Tangible results

The collaboration led by the Vechtstromen Water Authority from Almelo has resulted in 15 good practices. In addition, the University of Twente and the Jade University of Applied Sciences in Oldenburg have developed the Adapt My City tool. A tool for medium-sized cities to develop, monitor and adjust an integrated, long-term climate adaptation strategy.

During the CATCH symposium on Thursday 24 November '22, European cooperation was celebrated and the need was emphasized how important it is to continue to accelerate climate-resilience of our cities. The good practices and the Adapt My City tool from the CATCH project can help other midsized cities with this.

Great fun 

Mayor Peter Snijders of Zwolle opened the symposium, followed by project leader Manon van de Riet, who, together with Susan Lijzenga, showed that CATCH stands for five years of intensive collaboration, but also for a lot of fun.

Stefan Kuks, Chair of the Vechtstromen Water Authority, independent chairman of the national Delta Plan on Spatial Adaptation and Professor of Water Governance at the University of Twente then took the floor with a global perspective on climate adaptation.

From Europe, Willem Jan Goossen, Second National Expert Climate Adaptation at DG Clima, European Commission, highlighted the European perspective and the urgency to accelerate climate adaptation. Goossen was visibly surprised with the tangible results of the CATCH project and expressed his appreciation for this.

Prof. Dr. Helge Bormann from Jade University in Oldenburg discussed the Water Sensitive City theory from Australia, which has been the inspiration and common thread for the integrated approach in the CATCH project.

undefinedIn an interview parade, the various CATCH projects were presented by the involved CATCH partners, from Enschede and Zwolle to Belgium, Germany, Denmark and Sweden. They referred to the Adapt My City tool and how it helped them in their projects.

Escape room

To conclude the plenary morning program, Stefan Kuks and Zwolle climate alderman Arjen Spanje escaped from the climate escape room Adapt or Btrapped, also a tangible result of the CATCH project in Zwolle.

During an animated lunch in the beautiful event location Grote Kerk, the guests could view the CATCH exhibition, with all 15 good practices and the CATCH tool. Then there were five well-attended workshops to experience for yourself how you can work on a water-sensitive city. An excursion walk past climate adaptation projects in Zwolle and a drink formed the final chord of this symposium.