What are the effects of climate change in my area? What is the influence of flooding, extreme precipitation, droughts and heat waves? What are the vulnerable functions in that area and how vulnerable are the people who work and live there?

If I want to take action, are there opportunities that help to reduce costs, contribute to a better living environment or even create value?

This guide gives you suggestions on how to proceed with spatial adaptation and refers to tools that can assist you in your approach.

The steps that are part of the section Analysis help to answer these questions. The Vulnerability step assists in visualizing an area’s existing vulnerabilities to flooding, extreme precipitation, drought and heat. The Opportunity step presents possibilities that arise in your area due to climate change.

This guide gives you suggestions on how to proceed with spatial adaptation and refers to tools that can assist you in your approach.

Tips for implementing the steps

  • The steps are aimed at facilitating a thinking process,  and to start a discussion on “how to cope with spatial adaptation”.
  • Most effects cannot be limited by spatial borders. It is therefore advised not to carry out the analysis alone, but to adopt a joint approach. Involve residents, companies, (neighbouring) municipalities, water boards, provinces and safety representatives in the region (police, fire department and health institutes).
  • Allow external parties (for example experts from other regions, advisory agencies or educational institutes) to reflect on your findings of the analysis.
  • The degree of water resilience and climate proofing of a function or an area is not static. That is why it is recommended to repeat the analysis periodically (once every 4 to 8 years).
  • Different threats ask for analysis on different levels of scale. For example, flooding can be best analysed on a regional scale, whereas heat requires a local approach.


After performing the Analysis steps, you will gain more insight into the relevance of the four effects (flooding, extreme precipitation, drought and heat) for your chosen area. You will also have acquired more knowledge of the possible opportunities that arise with water-resilient and climate-proof planning. This knowledge and information helps to focus your challenges and puts spatial adaptation on the agenda.


Already several examples of projects exist that have explored the effects and opportunities in a single area. These analyses differ in character. Some are detailed, and some present a quickscan overview. If the goal is to put spatial adaptation on the agenda, the results should be focussed on visualising an overview of the main issues. This was done in the Trendanalyse Vallei en Veluwe project. When designing measures and making choices between investments, a more detailed analysis is needed. This was done as part of The adaptation strategy for Rotterdam. Another example of a recent project is the analysis of the effects and opportunities explored in the report on Climate sensitive Breda.