Adapting to uncertainty
In the light of climate change and rising costs of climate change impact reduction it is imperative to examine the effects of climate change on the built environment. Within a graduation design project of the department of Architecture of Delft University of Technology this issue has been approached within the context of theNetherlands. Assuming a worst case scenario for rising sea levels the consequences and solutions for the existing built environment in the town “Kruiningen” in theprovince of Zeeland, the Netherlands with high flood risks are explored.
Goal of the project was to investigate the consequences of flooding for the existing built environment in this region and, following a resilience-strategy, how it could be altered to be able to cope with external changes.
Analysis showed that 50% of the existing buildings was suitable to be adapted. These buildings, 2-storey row housing from the seventies of the former century, were equipped with two different kinds of building extensions and additional supply of essential non-food items such as solar boiler photovoltaic system, compost toilet, etc.
Also, a major addition to current local emergency response policy was proposed. Within the area a network of crisis centers was established in existing communal centers like schools, sports clubs and stores, from which emergency response could be locally coordinated too. From these centers a distribution network for food and non-food items can be organized, to supply inhabitants of the adapted buildings.
The adaptation of the existing built environment should not only allow it to overcome disaster, but also that the quality of the existing built environment would be enhanced in non-disaster times concurrently. This would justify a major investment in adapting the existing built environment.
This resilience approach offers a strategy reducing dependence on finite sources. Thus resilience is proposed as an alternative approach to climate change of which sustainability is a derivative. This was demonstrated in this project.