Programma Resilient Deltas

Water Safety and Spatial Planning.jpg

In this programme we explore the nature of resilience in relation with multiple interrelated systems in delta areas, design instruments to longitudinal monitor community resilience and its effects, and develop smart solutions to limit the vulnerability and increase the adaptive capacity of communities in delta areas.

Water safety and spatial planning are core elements in our approach, but our research also includes elements of critical infrastructure, social capital, economic development, and governance. By understanding the interrelations of these systems we aim – in collaboration with a diversity of organizations - to develop knowledge and create capabilities to enhance the resilience of delta societies. One of the specific applications is the ‘water sensitive area development approach’. The research programme offers several opportunities for students with interest in above topics. An overview of the assignments for next semester are published below. We are also open to students with relevant ideas in relation to above themes.

  1. Coproducing safety (self-reliance and professionals) (survey and workshops)
  2. Critical infrastructure and resilience in Reimerswaal
  3. Water sensitive area development in the Waterpoort region
  4. Resilient areas and Resilient societies: multilayered safety

Would you like to work on these topics in a minor?

Climate is changing worldwide. Temperatures are going up, sea level is rising, extreme drought and heat waves occur more often. The Netherlands, being a delta area, is just like many other countries, vulnerable to climate change.

Effects of a changing climate requires adaptation at many different levels of scale (neighborhood, city, region, (inter)national) and in many sectors. Without adequate adaptation measures, the possibility of being able to adjust will only decrease in the coming decades.

In the minor Climate Adaptation you will learn more about trends regarding climate change, diverse climate effects and impact on society. Based on multidisciplinary applied research you will collaborate with other students, researchers and professionals on new perspectives and measures for a climate proof and resilient society in delta areas.

The minor is organized by the research group Resilient Deltas. Projects can be both in English or Dutch.

What you will learn (within the Climate Adaptation theme)

  • Relevant knowledge and theories about climate change, climate adaptation, resilience, risks, flood risk management, spatial planning and crisis management.
  • Applied research, methods, applications and effective measures for a climate proof society.
  • Diverse skills (a.o. GIS, visual problem apprailsal, surveys, interviews, design and reporting of applied research).
  • To use diverse tools (analysis of vulnerability of critical assets, selecting effective measures) regarding climate adaptation and flood risk management.
  • Dealing with complex challenges with many actors and location specific issues by using a multidisciplinary approach.

And contribute to

  • Applied research projects about climate adaptation in the Dutch delta.
  • Possibly in comparison or collaboration with international projects.
  • An assignment that matches your education programme and ambition.
  • Below several examples:
    • Study about climate effects in an urban area by doing mobile measurements, conservations with inhabitations and experts, developing storylines, citizen participation and assessing effectiveness of measures (or parts of this study)
    • GIS analysis of vulnerable functions and critical infrastructure within a diked area in Zeeland and/or enhancing the webbased tool ‘Vital Assets’ (see Waterveiligheid en Vitale Infrastructuur in Zeeland for more information, in Dutch)
    • Comparative research between diverse European regions about flood risk management and climate adaptation. For example by developing new perspective about sense-making combinations and considerations of flood protection, adaptive spatial planning and crisis management. See e.g. Or a study about nature based solutions for the coastal protection of urban areas.

Are you interested in working on and learning in these projects? You can do so by participating in the minor Becoming Fit for the Future (30 ECTS, September - January or February - June). Download the brochure (PDF).

Contact and sign up

  • Download the brochure (PDF).
  • For more information about Climate Adaptation, and to sending your application and motivation letters for the projects, get in touch with Jean-Marie Buijs (



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