Breda - sensitive to climate change
The city of Breda has commissioned a study into the impact of climate change in the city, comprising an exploration of possible measures.
The impact of climate change is already making itself felt. The extremely hot and dry months of June and July in the summer of 2010 illustrate that the city has an urgent need for cooling and that good-quality water can be a scarce commodity, whereas stormy weather that same month resulted in various reports of storm damage and pluvial flooding. Yet the climate scan shows that Breda’s climate taskings are not acute. There is no need for immediate reconsideration of on-going projects or policy. After all, we have agreed among ourselves that, for example, pluvial flooding once every so many years would be acceptable. If we do not take action, however, this acceptance threshold will be exceeded increasingly more often, while the comfort of the urban climate will decrease. For this reason, it would be advisable to factor in climate change, wherever possible, as a tasking into future projects and policy. This will prevent any subsequent regrets about missed opportunities. This pertains especially to long-term investment projects, such as the development or restructuring of residential areas and the construction of roads.
Moreover, adaptation measures do not need to entail additional expense, provided climate adaptation is factored in at a sufficiently early stage of the design and decision-making process. This will enable climate adaptation measures to hitch a ride on the wagons of other objectives, or prevent additional costs because subsequent adjustments are not required. In many cases, climate adaptation measures even yield money, because they boost an area’s spatial quality and living climate. A view of greenery or water jacks up the transaction prices of houses and companies.
Climate adaptation is a new yet, above all, dynamic theme in policy making, still involving a great deal of uncertainty. A proper incorporation requires a step-by-step, cyclical approach. The city of Breda has taken the first steps with its climate scan. The impact and consequences have been determined specifically for the city of Breda. The maps in the climate scan show which taskings may be expected at which locations in the city. In addition, various interviews and a workshop with policy-makers have raised awareness within the city’s own organisation. The follow-up steps still require some further attention. Furthermore, the topic needs to be placed on the administrative agenda, in order for administrators to make a choice between acceptance and adaptation. With respect to the taskings for which adaptation is desirable, opportunities must then be sought to link up with other taskings, initiate pilot projects, and garner support. With its climate agenda, this report puts forward a number of suggestions to this end.