Historically, the Regge was a free-flowing shallow lowland river which meandered through a landscape containing marshes, wet meadows and sandy levees. To facilitate shipping, from 1848 onwards the river was straightened by cutting off meanders, and the river channel was deepened and widened. Dams were built to better regulate the river flow, and the floodplain was embanked to protect the adjacent land from flooding. In 1935, the river was almost completely canalised, reducing its length from roughly 70 km to 50 km.
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Hesketh Out Marsh is one of the biggest managed realignment projects in the UK and is one of the country’s most important estuary habitats for birdlife. The original saltmarsh was isolated from the estuary in 1980 by the creation of an outer wall, and was used for growing crops. With the sea level rising, it was necessary to create stronger sea defences. By a process known as “managed realignment”, seawater has been let back in to flood the land, re-creating saltmarsh and providing space for nature.
The former industrial area “Luciline” in Rouen, along the Seine river, has been profoundly re-designed into an ecodistrict covering 9 hectares in total and including both climate change adaptation and mitigation solutions. Sustainable living is the core principle of the neighbourhood re-design. Sustainability solutions are implemented in fields playing an important role in climate change adaptation and mitigation, such as energy, water, biodiversity, transport and planning.
The Albert canal in the eastern part of Flanders connects the industrial zones around Liege with the harbour of Antwerp. Ships can continue their way at both ends of the canal: via the river Scheldt to the Netherlands and via the river Meuse to France. In the future, the Meuse basin, from which the Albert canal receives its water, is projected to experience more and longer periods of low river discharge, as a consequence of climate change. Thus, less water is expected to be available for sluicing ships. This would limit inland navigation.
This case describes the steps taken towards achieving more balanced management of Cork Harbour, through the establishment of a strategic alliance (couplet) between the local authority and multidisciplinary academic experts. This innovative partnership resulted in the adoption of an Integrated Management Strategy. A stakeholder group – Harbour Management Focus Group (HMFG) – comprising statutory and non-statutory organisations was established to implement the management strategy.
Losses and damages related to urban flooding and storms are likely to increase due to climate change. The insurance industry can potentially play a key role in climate change adaptation by contributing to the understanding of risks associated with climate change. By sharing data on the location of insurance claims associated with extreme rainfall or storms, the insurance industry can enable better-informed adaptation planning and risk management.
The city of Antwerp, in order to better understand the problem of heat stress, commissioned the research organization VITO to map the current and future temperatures and thermal comfort in the city. The research results indicate that the urban heat island of Antwerp exacerbates the impact of climate change on the urban population as the amount of heatwave days in the city raises twice as fast as in the rural surroundings. To tackle the problem of heat stress in the city, adaptation measures at three different scales (city-wide, local and the individual citizen) are put forth.
Groundwork London – an environmental regeneration charity part of the Groundwork federation - in partnership with Hammersmith and Fulham Council, received LIFE+ funding for the Climate-Proofing Social Housing Landscapes project in 2013. The project, which came to an end in September 2016, has demonstrated an integrated approach to climate adaptation in urban areas by undertaking a package of affordable, light-engineering climate change adaptation measures based around the retrofitting of blue and green infrastructure.
The United Kingdom has historically experienced severe flood events, including that of summer 2007, which resulted in the loss of essential services including water and energy supply, as well as the destruction of infrastructures, with estimated costs exceeding £3.2 billion. About half a million people were immediately affected by this event, in terms of temporary absence of energy supply. In any of such flood event, once energy supply is impacted, so are other services as water distribution, transport, communication and health care.
The Green Urban Infrastructure Strategy was launched by the City Council of Vitoria-Gasteiz in 2012. Its main objectives are the regeneration of degraded areas through eco-design techniques, the enhancement of urban biodiversity, the improvement of connectivity and functionality of different urban and periurban green areas, the promotion of public use of green space and the improvement of adaptation capacity to climate change, as in particular more severe and frequent heatwaves.