Written by: Sanda Lenzholzer, Wageningen UR

Our CLIMADAPTOOL project is in full swing now. We started the interactive part of our project in the beginning of February with a kick-off meeting with our stakeholders from Amsterdam (the municipality and the ANMEC foundation) and interested citizens. On that memorable evening with 25 enthusiastic participants we triggered Amsterdam citizens’ imagination about the urban climate adaptation app we want to build. We first had all people play with different apps addressing urban environmental awareness such as the Weerbelevings app (Wageningen UR), the climate adaptation app (Deltares), Mijn luchtkwaliteit app (RIVM), Huisje boompje beter (GROENBLAUW), and Duurzaam Rotterdam (municipality of Rotterdam). Participants then filled in a questionnaire about the respective app tested, and also answered questions about the requirements for the app to be developed in our CLIMADAPTOOL project.

From this very fruitful kick-off meeting we developed the brief for the app. The major features will be:

– The app should provide realistic recommendations for measures and as location-specific as possible;

– The app has to be very simple, with not much more than three ‘layers’;

– For concrete adaptation measures, information is given by means of ‘pop-ups’ or ‘speech bubbles’;

– The city climate map is displayed with simple graphics and plain colors, including zooming and location search;

– The app will provide limited interactivity, for instance for sharing pictures and comments about the basic urban climate map.

We also held discussions with the steering committee. The committee consists of Arnold Bregt (Geoinformation Sciences, Wageningen UR), Bert Holtslag (Meteorology and Air Quality, Wageningen UR) and Lutz Katzschner (Environmental Meteorology and Urban Planning, Kassel University). The steering was enthusiastic about the project idea and recommended to not only make a smartphone app but to cast this idea into a website with the same functionalities. We will take this advice into account in an ‘upgrade project’ later.

Currently, we are developing the Urban Climate map. We base the subdivision of the map into urban heat classes on the Local Climate Zone system. The image gives you a first hint of such a map, but note – this is an interim product and the eventual map will be simplified and easier to read. Once the map is ready we will share it with stakeholders in Amsterdam so that they can help us to correct and fine-tune the Urban Climate map.

Sanda Lenzholzer, Dr. Dipl. Ing. MA (AA)
Associate professor Landscape Architecture Wageningen UR