BR.20.014 – Urban Green Climate

Route: The blue route: water as a pathway to innovation and sustainable growth

Cluster question: 008 How is the climate changing, including extreme weather, and what impact will those changes have?

Climate projections indicate higher temperatures, more extreme precipitation and an increase in drought. All cities in the Netherlands are conducting risk dialogues to adapt to future climate conditions.  At the same time many cities have greening ambitions and stimulate green solutions and reduction of impervious surfaces. Vegetation increases climate resilience because it reduces the Urban Heat Island effect, pluvial flooding and droughts, while reducing impervious areas reactivates the sponge effect of the soil. However, green is also vulnerable to climate change as recent hot and dry summers have shown. Municipalities want to know how effective and climate resilient green solutions are and how these can be designed to have the largest effect. A key missing element is the understanding of the local water and energy balance of urban vegetation  surrounded by paved surfaces and how vegetation responds to that. Current data and knowledge on vegetation and hydrology are largely based on vegetation in homogeneous rural and forest areas, while urban conditions fundamentally differ. Solitary trees and small patches of grass in the streetscape have a different energy and water balance then trees in a forest, e.g. they receive more radiation, are exposed to higher atmospheric temperatures and larger moisture deficits and infiltration and soil conditions are different. This affects the cooling effect and urban water balance. This project will provide better data and understanding of the urban water and energy balance, during heatwaves, rainfall and drought conditions. A large dataset of state-of-the-art measurements in partner cities will be created. This unique dataset will be used to better simulate and predict the energy and water balance of green in cities which will be translated into practical design guidelines. This fundamental knowledge will help to better plan for green to achieve climate resilient cities in the most effective way.


climate adaptation, climate change, green solutions, urban areas

Other organisations

Technische Universiteit Delft (TUD), University of Applied Sciences Amsterdam, Wageningen Universities and Research (WUR)


Organisation Deltares
Name Dr. R. (Reinder) Brolsma