Resilience can be about putting in place infrastructure that protects against meteorological shocks. But it can as well be about creating a community that understands these changes and supports each other in building a sustainable and resilient environment. Cities need to use their innovation potential to develop new ideas and projects that increase their resilience and protect them from the impacts of climate change – both physically and socially.
The City of The Hague is interestingly using an innovative strategy, such as having a small holistic upfront intervention, rather than a larger thematic and haphazard investment to face those challenges. The Resilience Programme of the city was created to ensure a step change in the approach and to address the root cause of the challenges and address them according to context. One of the main questions addressed to develop resilience-related projects was:
By focussing on local communities, The Hague has launched an experiment with the residents of Noorderbeekdwarsstraat in the Segbroek area in the first months of 2022 (reference video: here). Through tailored measures, the help of residents and existing partners, the aim is to make streets greener, isolate houses and increase digital resilience. Most importantly, the experiment aims to improve social relations between citizens, build community bonds and develop social capital, which could be the key element in fostering resilience for the future.
This multistakeholder, multipurpose and multidisciplinary approach connects the residents as key actors that can lead to the creation of long-term and sustainable solutions – solutions that build not only on resilient actions but also a resilient community that understands the challenges ahead and can introduce solutions to mitigate them.
The green and blue infrastructure introduced by the project helps reduce heat, manage excess water and improve air quality. On top of that, it also enables interactions between nature and residents and creates an outdoor space to meet neighbours and cultivate neighbourliness. These kinds of solutions create permeable, multifunctional spaces that protect us from the dangers of climate shocks, but also provide space for local communities to thrive.Those flexible spaces can help make cities more resilient and mitigate the effects of climate change while creating accessible, inclusive, and healthy spaces.
Brears, R.C. (2018). Blue and green cities : the role of blue-green infrastructure in managing urban water resources. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018.
Choe, E.Y., Kenyon, A. & Sharp, L. (2020). Designing blue green infrastructure (BGI) for water management, human health, and wellbeing : summary of evidence and principles for design. University of Sheffield.
Wolfrum, S. (2018). Porous City: From Metaphor to Urban Agenda. Basel/Berlin/Boston: Walter de Gruyter GmbH.