CATCH-project included in Dutch article about transitioning towards the Water Sensitive City

05 May 2021 - Published by Manon van de Riet
In December 2020 the research partners of the EU Interreg project CATCH published an article about ‘Transitioning towards the water sensitive city: coping with urban densification, water management and climate change’, as part of the Dutch journal of Water Governance issue 03/2020 themed “In transition”.

The ‘Water Sensitive City’ (WSC) framework has been of significant inspiration for CATCH: “water sensitive Cities: the Answer To CHallenges of extreme weather events”.

The article discusses climate adaptation as a spatial transition in historical, current and future transition states – based on experiences in the Netherlands and mirrored on international examples. Cities are experiencing the impacts of climate change through water-related disasters, while the sustainable management of water resources remains crucial for urban climate resilience. Accordingly, frameworks that integrate urban water management with climate change adaptation become increasingly relevant. The Water Sensitive Cities (WSC) framework is built on three pillars that address cities’ role as communities and networks, water catchments, and providers of ecosystem services. Making these three pillars actionable in daily practice requires improved perception of the benefits from decision makers and the public. This includes tangible financial benefits and the social benefits of an improved living environment (which is more difficult to quantify). Learning from experience shows that the adoption of the WSC approach can be a positive, place-making process for truly sustainable growth, working and investing collaboratively and considering all pillars of sustainability in balance. Because the WSC framework is also a benchmark that appeals the competitiveness of cities, it can accelerate the implementation of climate adaptation.

The full article (in Dutch) can be viewed and downloaded at ResearchGate.

1) Brown, R., Keath, N., Wong, T. (2008), ‘Transitioning to water sensitive cities: ensuring resilience through a new hydro social contract’, 11th International Conference on Urban Drainage, Scotland, UK.