scientific challenges

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How is this linked to climate change? The concept of healthy urbanism provides an inclusive way of framing the climate issues facing urban areas. 

Healthy urbanism means connecting climate-proofing initiatives to the concerns and feelings of the people who work, live and spend their free time in the city. 

The Social Proposition chapter of the magazine shows several excellent examples that underline this concept.

Using new technology in practice

The practical and urgent nature of climate change means that there is an acute demand for smart solutions. As such, when developing new technology for climate-proofing, the practical implementation is an important consideration.

The “Smart Polder” project is a good example of where innovative technology is applied to solving practical problems. To combat the urban heat island effect and the reliance on unsustainable energy sources, Deltares and IF Technology have mapped out the opportunities for obtaining energy from surface water in the Utrecht Region.

In Brief

The problems that arise due to climate change are seldom isolated events. Academic research and innovation technology both show how various issues are related and can play an important role in accelerating the rate at which we are able to find solutions for a diverse set of problems.

The basic idea is to remove heat from the water in the summer, and remove cold from the water in the winter. 

Not only does this improve the temperature for urban living, but it can also improve water quality. Removing heat in the summer reduces the risk of algal blooms and botulism. 

By removing cold in the winter, the waterways remain navigable for transport and the flora and fauna also benefit from this system.

Case: Amersfoort Station

Shades of green: the use of foliage

Trees can influence an urban environment in a multitude of ways. They can provide shade for visitors, increase the aesthetic appeal or can aid in water drainage. 

In the renovation of Amersfoort Station, special attention was paid to choosing the types of trees that serve, not just one, but all of these purposes.

Related Resources

Utrecht University’s sustainability research in the field of climate change and ecosystems has the greatest worldwide impact, as declared by the Times Higher Education institute. Discover the rankings of the different universities.

Read about the technology used for the Smart Polder project (in Dutch).

scientific challenges

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