Arnhem shows off measures against climate change consequences to Dutch King

King Willem-Alexander and Minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen of Infrastructure and Water Management visited Arnhem on Tuesday morning to see what measures the municipality is taking to make the city resilient to extreme weather conditions brought on by climate change. Arnhem residents have been confronted by flooding rainwater multiple times in recent years, and there are areas in the city where residents experience so-called heat stress. 

Climate change increases the chance of extreme weather conditions, ranging from droughts to floods. The King and Minister's visit to Arnhem formed part of the national Delta Program on Spatial Adaption. This program is intended to help urban and rural-areas make themselves climate-proof and water-robust. The government made money available to support all municipalities in carrying out so-called stress tests to identify their weaknesses when faced with extreme weather conditions. 

In De Wetering conference center, King Willem-Alexander and Minister Van Nieuwenhuizen received an explanation on specific climate adaption happening in Arnhem. The King and Minister spoke to representatives of citizens platform AKB, which aims to make residents, businesses and institutions aware of climate challenges and to encourage them to take action themselves. The Geitenkamp maintenance project was discussed, in which direct attention is paid to tackling flooding during the maintenance of the sewer system. 

The King attended a downpour simulation on Reestraat. In this street, residents can see for themselves what effect different types of paving have on the flow of water. Local residents can use this "test street" to choose for themselves which pavement they want on their street, based on how it handles floods. In the Spijkerkwartier district, the King was told about heat stress in the city and what initiatives the residents themselves are taking to reduce it. Willem-Alexander and Van Nieuwenhuizen also spoke to local residents about their experiences with the consequences of climate change.

Finally, the Minister and King attended a expert discussion on the further challenges and opportunities Almere faces with regards to climate adaption, and the division of roles between governments and individuals.