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Ecosystem-based climate change adaptation for Essenvelt, Middelburg, The Netherlands

Wim Timmermans
Cor Jacobs
Tim van Hattum
Louis Lategan
Juaneé Cilliers


Climate change is an internationally recognised phenomenon generally held accountable for the increasing magnitude of extremes in both climatic events and temperature. With increasing urbanization and the concentration of socio-economic activities in urban areas, the challenge to contend with climate change is particularly pertinent in cities. In response to climate-change impacts, a range of climateadaptation strategies have been developed to make cities increasingly ‘climate proof’. A qualitative research approach is employed to review climate change, its impacts and some adaptation strategies, focusing on ecosystem-based adaptation strategies from Belgium and The Netherlands and Water-Sensitive Urban Design approaches developed in Australia. The article engages a case study of Essenvelt, Middelburg, The Netherlands, where unanticipated warmer night-time temperatures are a primary concern, related to natural variability, the urban heat island effect and climate change. The article proposes certain adaptation measures for Essenvelt, based on the adaptation strategies reviewed.

Keywords: Adaptation, climate change, ecosystem-based, water-sensitive urban design, WSUD