Dutch City Turn to Nature-Based Solutions to Fight Climate Change

Sonsbeek Park, Arnhem: Wikimedia Commons

by Julia Fine, ODP Contributing Writer

Climate change is already causing flooding and heatwaves worldwide. Thankfully, one Dutch city has a plan to tackle it. Arnhem, the capital city of the province Gelderland,  recently made a 10-year plan to re-landscape the city in order to deal with the impacts of climate change. 

As part of this plan, as India Block reported in Dezeen, “selected roads will be replaced by grass, and trees will be planted to provide shade for other routes, cooling parts of the city” as well as preventing flooding. Furthermore, Arnhem will “continue to invest in gas-free houses, windmills and solar parks in order to prevent further harm to the climate,” Janene Pieters noted in the NL Times

Why This Matters: Arnhem is at the frontlines of climate change. The city has experienced multiple floods in the past few years, and according to the NL Times, parts of heat stress rages in parts of the city. That the city is taking swift and well-thought out action on these issues– even going so far as to run “downpour simulations” in 2019— provides potential models for other cities worldwide that want to adapt to and combat climate change. As climate expert Marjolein Pijpers-Van Esch told Trouw, “Most municipalities are still not doing enough to prepare for a more extreme weather forecast.” Perhaps with Arnhem’s lead, other cities will soon follow.

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