The city of Arnhem has unveiled a plan for restructuring the city in an attempt to better prepare it for the long-term effects of global warming.
Arnhem’s 10-year plan
The 10-year plan was unveiled on Wednesday, July 29, with the aim of the new-and-improved layout of the city to better prepare for extreme weather such as downpours, droughts, and intense heatwaves, which all happen with increasing frequency as a result of global warming.
The plan includes a policy to remove 10 percent of the asphalt in the city with grass and other plans to dissipate heat and improve rainfall absorption. More trees will also be planted, notably along roads to provide more shade for residents. A number of “cooling spots” will also be built near busy squares and shopping areas.
Cathelijne Bouwkamp, the alderman of Arnhem, said the city is also going to further reduce its carbon emissions as part of the plan, and offer grants to residents who propose ways they might collect rainwater or who install green roofs. “We must adapt to the climate change that is taking place now. Flooding, heat and drought are increasing” Bouwkamp told the Guardian.
Combatting global warming in the Netherlands
The Dutch government has asked municipalities and cities to carry out climate stress tests to determine how they might better adapt to changing weather conditions, such as more erratic rainfall patterns, heatwaves and periods of high and low river flows.
The government plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the Netherlands by 40 percent by 2030, and by 95 percent in 2050 (compared to levels in 1990). A number of Dutch cities have already made great strides in switching to renewable energy: Rotterdam and Zwolle have both unveiled floating solar panel islands since the start of 2020.
Amsterdam hopes to be able to generate enough solar energy to power 200.000 a year by 2030, and has recently been experimenting with storing rainwater underneath artificial grass, and are hoping to use the method to better protect the city against more extreme weather.
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