LIFE Critical’s innovative approach to adapting old city neighborhoods to the effects of climate change is having an important impact in Dordrecht’s Wielwijk neighbourhood. 

Together with the community, Dordrecht is looking to future-proof the neighbourhood by implementing climate adaptation measures in the park and monitoring their impact with citizen science. 

The original design of the area caused a number of challenges for the neighbourhood, including high traffic flows, air pollution, and water management. In response, citizens and the municipality collaborated to design solutions tailored to the community. Now, LIFE Critical is supporting the implementation of these ideas with the vision to create a resilient green axis in the neighbourhood accessible to all. These changes are being monitored with a wide sensor network and citizen science, with the goal of empowering the community to engage with the climate adaptations happening in their shared public spaces.

Main activities in the project

  • Preparation: Finalize construction contracts, permits, tender documents. Institutionalize citizen involvement. Baseline measurements.
  • Implementation: Implementation and exploitation of expected climate adaptation measures in Wielwijk Park and Horton Park (Bradford), show portability by developing implementation plans for cities outside the project;
  • Monitoring the impact of the project actions: completion of baseline and monitoring plans for demo locations, monitoring of climate adaptation and socio-economic effects, monitoring of LIFE performance indicators, evaluation of results, draft blueprint;
  • Communication and dissemination actions: transfer of information and awareness, dissemination to stakeholders and target group, including networking activities (workshops, site visits);
  • Project management actions: project management by Dordrecht, monitoring project progress, design after LIFE plan.

Expected results

The measures taken for climate adaptation have successfully demonstrated that:

  • In two older city districts in Europe (Dordrecht and Bradford)
  • Based on proactive citizen involvement to realize urban adjustment potential with the help of BGI.
  • This leads to two (2) successfully renovated urban demonstration parks.

The parks are ready for use for residents who live around the parks. It will clearly show how water is embraced in the parks and how the current and future ecosystem services and social functionality of parks are protected through construction and maintenance.

More detailed results:

  • Increased social cohesion at the demonstration locations
  • Innovative monitoring setup demonstrated
  • Monitored results on the effects and impact of the implemented climate adaptation measures
  • Disseminated project results and outcomes among stakeholders, target groups and the general public
  • Interest created in implementing the demonstrated participatory approaches and measures in other cities
  • Demonstrated reproducibility and transferability
  • Increase awareness of climate adaptation in general and the potential of adapting existing green infrastructure to climate adaptive infrastructure, in particular among target groups and stakeholders