Noordenveld Neighbourhoods - Work in progress

19 November 2020 - Published by Deirdre Buist 2
Noordenveld is fast on the way to becoming a climate and future-proof community. Stronghouse is all about sustainable housing and strong communities and that is what the Municipality of Noordenveld is working hard to achieve – together with the inhabitants of this rural area in the Dutch province of Drenthe.

With a neighbourhood approach, Noordenveld also wants to take full advantage of the opportunities as they arise in the public domain. For example, creating sustainable neighbourhoods also includes water management and dealing with heat stress and climate adaptation in public parking, green spaces and play areas.

 

Co-operating in Norg West

A prime example of this co-operative and integral approach is Norg West, one of the three neighbourhoods where the Municipality, the Energy Cooperation Noordseveld (ECN) and the residents work closely together. This locality has a lot of trouble with flooding after heavy rainfall. Drainage is insufficient on the streets while green areas become quickly waterlogged. As a result of climate change and the increased occurrence of extreme weather events, this issue has become more urgent and needs to be solved. Which is why the local authority is developing water retention areas and drainage solutions. A separate sewerage system for rainwater is one such solution.

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Opportunities above & below ground

The implementation of the groundwork for a separate drainage system offers an ideal opportunity to create more future-proof and climate resilient measures in the public space. But how? The Municipality doesn’t have all the answers. Obviously, the local residents know their own neighbourhood very well and the quality of their living environment influences their daily lives. Which is why  experts from the municipality walked through the neighbourhood - with the residents - and together they planted flags to mark bottlenecks and possibilities for development. Additional ideas were collected during specially organized sessions with the locals at community meeting points.

Climate-resilient community plan

A consultancy of landscape architects (LAOS) guided this process and will use all the input gathered to create a draft plan. This draft will be further consolidated into a final plan, together with the community. Noordenveld is also fully aware of the opportunities for energy renovation in housing – this goes hand in hand with re-designing the neighbourhood and creating a climate-resilient public space.

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The Municipality of Noordenveld will continue to work at this community level to create sustainable, future-proof and pleasant living environments for young and old. The experiences and lessons learned with this neighbourhood approach are very beneficial to all Stronghouse partners when engaging and enabling individual homeowners to retrofit their houses.