Looking at the three Chinese projects the first element to be mentioned is hat these three projects are sustainable building demonstration projects. This simple fact makes it logical that in the plans a relatively big attention is for the adaptation to the effects of climate change. However, the majority of the developments probably show a lack of attention to this subject.
Generally, adaptation to climate change is in China not a big issue yet. The main efforts go, as in many other countries, towards minimising climate change by energy saving or usage of sustainable energy.
However, the three projects illustrate that incorporation of measures anticipating on expected changes in climate is easily done. The measures direct the character and layout of the design and contribute to the resiliency of the entire area.
The main issues in the Chinese examples are the unbalance in water availability between summer and winter, leading to floods or droughts and the decrease of biodiversity, due to various reasons.
The integration of climate proof measures in large-scale Chinese urban development projects is easy to do. The Chinese projects show that if the natural circumstances, like altitudes, slopes, water and ecology are taken as central steering elements in the design the resilience and anticipative capacity of the project area can be improved. The internal capacity to store water and increase biodiversity reduces the vulnerability of the site for unexpected events like heavy rain or droughts. The designs for the various areas are integrated designs and the climate measures are a regular part of it. It seems that in the Chinese context climate adaptation measures are not seen as new ingredient, which have difficulties to be fitted in an old fashioned tradition of planning. Besides this, in China a jump forward takes place on issues like energy use and climate adaptation. Policy makers, designers and project developers are open to incorporate these issues in the designs.
Compared to the Dutch examples and situation, the Chinese attitude towards these issues seems more susceptible. Integration of climate change is just a regular issue, which, if explained by external experts, is easily integrated and realised. The Western and Dutch planning practice can learn from this in the sense that new knowledge can be adapted much more quickly in the planning processes with less reservedness. In the Chinese examples the project developer works together with the central government and scientific experts in a design project. This work process is not regular practice in the Netherlands.
Finally, the Dutch planning practice can learn from the Chinese examples in a way that the impacts of climate change are integrated and designed in the plan. The effects of climate change, whether it is biodiversity, the absence of water or heat islands effects became steering in the lay out of the projects. The different sectors are contributing to the central direction of the design and one sector is not trying to become more important than another one. In the Netherlands the structure of spatial planning is based on the aims and policies of added sectors. Instead of aiming the same integrated objective (be prepared for the effects of climate change) and designing the planning process around it, the sectoral influences find themselves still too important to leave their interests behind and cooperate to reach a common goal. Caused by this focus on the individual sectors, the adaptation of spatial structures is made more difficult than necessary and it is difficult to reach the best results. The planning system could be adjusted a bit around common goal definition. Besides this, a stronger involvement in the planning process for developers and scientific experts could be arranged
In the debate on how to adapt regions best to the effects of climate change the role of design is underestimated. The belief is that if objectives regarding climate change are formulated in policy documents, these objectives will be reached. But setting the rules is not enough. Adaptation to climate change is such an issue. It is, for example in the Netherlands a big issue in policy, but if realised plans are taken into account not much adaptation measures are realised yet. Firstly, this is caused by the fact that adaptation to climate change is a relative new subject in planning. Secondly, the subject of adaptation is a complex and long-term one, for which simple and one-dimensional solutions are not effective or available. A simple sentence in a policy document or a sectoral solution does not meet the requirements and characteristics of the adaptation to climate change, which requires a more integrative approach.
Design offers the changes that are not available sector oriented planning or policy-making. Integrated thinking and visualisation are very useful in making complex and long-term issues clear and at the same time give concrete and spatial solutions for these issues. The creativity and challenging being of design processes are capable of shaping a new image for the future world in a certain region. The regional spatial level is very well suited to give shape to developments on the longer term. In order to understand the possibilities of the regional spatial system to deal with climate change, knowledge on the regional natural system is essential. Once this system is understood the design process is capable of shaping a future image. A rough estimate on the future changes in climate is enough information to do so. A thoroughly and scientific sound research, giving exact figures, is not necessary.
Trust that design processes are the mean that will include climate adaptation and will solve all problems of implementation is not advisable. More is required to implement, anticipate and realise adaptation measures. A nice drawing of a climate proof region only does not take care of that.
• Firstly, policy makers should be made aware of the importance of climate change and the unavoidability of adaptation. Knowledge has to be made available to reach the policy makers.
• Secondly, politicians should be supported that in their choices to prioritise issues not only short-term elections are important, but the long-term safety of the population might be more important. For politicians it is very difficult to take action if their knowledge base is not sufficient. Thus there is a need for a politically harmonised and approved state of the art on climate changes to be expected.
• Thirdly, planning processes need to be adjusted in a way that the planning and design processes are less sectoral oriented and linear. The process needs to create space for non-linear issues such as climate change, which is complex and oriented on the longer term. Besides the adjustments of the planning process it is also necessary to add climate proof requirements in regulations in order to safeguard climate proof developments.
• Fourthly, the financial consequences of adaptation to climate change need to be placed in a long-term perspective.
• Finally, the designers need to use their capacity to integrate several problem fields in a design and use their creativity to keep the future developments in mind instead of day-to-day demands.
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Chapter 3 The Coast
Abstract Due to global warming the sea level is rising. The IPCC predictions vary from 35 to 85 cm at the end of the century. However, around the globe there are big differences in expected future sea levels. For small islands in the Pacific a small elevation means the difference between exist or not exist. In a European context the rise of sea level will be counted in decimetres, but a strong acceleration of land ice melting might increase this expected number. In many other regions risk is a combination of a rising sea level with more intense weather events, such as hurricanes or typhoons. The question how to deal with the risks involved can be answered in different ways. Try to create a technical protection, which offers a minimum level of safety or create a robust zone with much higher safety levels. Trust on a belief in technique and engineers or, on top of that, turn the risk into a challenge and become innovative. The amount of solutions is large and they vary from a simple seawall
Reviewed by Prof. Dr. Franciscus Colijn, Institut für Küstenforschung, GKSS Forschungszentrum Geesthacht GmbH and Forschungs- und Technologiezentrum Westk ste, Germany
R. Roggema, Adaptation to Climate Change: A Spatial Challenge, 113
DOI 10.1007/978-1-4020-9359-3_3, © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009
to entire new naturally build coastal zones. The examples from the Netherlands, Hamburg, New Orleans and London illustrate that there is not one best solution to deal with coastal defence, but that different approaches can be useful. In general, the combination of a strong defensive wall with the development of new spatial functions in the coastal zone seems to be provoking the imagination most, but when it comes to realisation these concepts rarely score best. If the sea level rise accelerates a shift in thinking may be required, because an ongoing heightening of dikes increases the risk factor also. A seemingly strong dike causes a lot of damage when it breaks and the higher the dike the more unexpected the breech will be. The vulnerability behind the dike is high and resilience low. Therefore, an anticipative approach, which is preparing people for surprises and accepting future higher sea levels in today's environment, may well be the future. Vulnerability will be lowered if integrated and multifunctional solutions are built with natural processes instead of against it. In order to find new solutions, the development of extraordinary projects, like the Pink Project in New Orleans or the Arkway project in the Thames Gateway, need to be encouraged.
In this chapter four areas, which are considered to be vulnerable to global climate change and sea level rise, are presented. As a country lying for a large part below sealevel, the Netherlands has to decide on future strategic decisions regarding flooding protection and reducing risks for the population and investments in the areas below sea level. Hamburg is a specific example of a major city, which tries to combine harbour activities and living in an area increasingly prone to flooding due to deepening the Elbe-river, which causes increased tidal amplitudes. Similar problems occur in the greater London area where different options have been suggested. The final example considers the situation around New Orleans, which was hit by a tropical cyclone that caused major flooding of the city. In all four regions numerous suggestions have been made both for short-term measures as well as for long-term strategies to reduce risks and cope with future sea level rise.
3.2 Dutch Coastal Defence 3.2.1 A forever Changing Coastline
The coast of the Netherlands has always been subject to natural changes. In history, the coastline has changed, due to these changes, a lot (Fig. 3.1).The actual coastline is protected by human influence through dikes and sand suppletions.
In order to monitor the safety of the coast, the Dutch government defined after the 1953-flood the so-called Delta-standard (Rijkswaterstaat, DWW, 2003). This
Fig. 3.1 The coastline of the northern Netherlands though times (Source: Vries et al., 2006)
Last ice age (20.000 BC)
Stone age (9000-2100 BC)
Bronze age (2100-000 BC)
Roman age (600 BC-500 AC)
Early Middle ages (500-1000 AC)
Early Modem age (1500-1940 AC)
Today (2000 AC)
Fig. 3.1 The coastline of the northern Netherlands though times (Source: Vries et al., 2006)
standard examplifies the safety of the coastal defence in a way that the defence only once in a certain number of years under severe threat collapses. In the river zone the dikes need to withstand a high water level, which occurs every 1250 years. Along the western coast this standard is put on once every 10,000 years. The detailed standard is dependant on the economic value and the density of population in a certain area. The Delta-standard is set more than 50 years ago. Since then, the value behind the dikes has increased tremendously. Thus, the question is if the right standard is still actual for the different areas. If the values increase the standard has to do so as well. Another question is if the protection level according the standards is realised in a time that has to expect a higher sea level and increased river discharges due to climate change. This is the reason that in the Netherlands the project 'Safety in the Netherlands on the Map' (VNK) is conducted, with new methods to calculate the real risk better. The first results show that the Randstad Holland is not as good protected as expected (Rijkswaterstaat, DWW, 2003).
The coastal defence is under pressure of a rising sea level and the expected increase of heavier storms. Different views on the best way to protect the country are explored. This discussion is recently put back on the political agenda, because climate change requires long-term thinking. A good example of this renewed attention is the installation of the Deltacommission, which has the assignment to look at the far future and advise on the long-term layout of the country, bearing climate change in mind. This chapter gives an overview over the different old and new plans, concepts and ideas for a safe coastal defence.
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