Presentation of regional Spatial Adaptation manifesto

On Thursday, 7 December representatives from 28 municipalities, the provinces of Gelderland and Utrecht, and the Vallei en Veluwe district water board gathered in the Meander hospital in Amersfoort to sign a manifesto to jointly work on a climate-proof future. Delta Programme Commissioner Wim Kuijken was present and accepted the manifesto.

Under the manifesto, the parties have agreed to map out the region’s vulnerabilities to waterlogging, heat, drought, and urban flooding, and to jointly set down concrete targets and actions. Spatial adaptation is being tackled in an integrated fashion in this area, factoring in Nature, cultural history, recreational activities, and climate mitigation. The approach is a regional substantiation of the national Delta Plan on Spatial Adaptation.

According to Wim Kuijken, the manifesto is a fine example of regional collaboration in which the essential connection between water and spatial planning is actually realised. ‘In the Netherlands, we are increasingly aware of the fact that everyone needs to play his or her part to render the Netherlands resilient against extreme weather. With the Delta Plan on Spatial Adaptation and this regional substantiation, we are collectively expediting and intensifying the required efforts. The times of non-commitment are over.’

Collaboration in the region has been going on for quite some time and measures are already being taken in many fields, from disconnecting downspouts from the sewer system to constructing retention areas, nature reserves, and green schoolyards. With this manifesto, the parties are now stepping up their efforts. Water board council chair Tanja Klip called it a “springboard to the future, with an entire water world to be gained collectively, with smart ideas, inter-linking themes, and involving new partners.”