Groningen: The Spread-Out Charrette

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The Design Charrette: Ways to Envision Sustainable Futures, 2014, pp. 167 - 212
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In the Netherlands the Climate Changes Spatial Planning ( program was one of the first scientific programs to study the relationship between Spatial Planning, or land-use, and changes in climatic conditions. The mission of the program was to introduce climate change and climate variability as one of the guiding principles for spatial planning. The program consisted of research projects developed in five main themes: climate scenarios, mitigation, adaptation, integration and communication. Projects were interactively defined to cover issues relevant for sectors such as and amongst others biodiversity and nature, agriculture, fresh water, coastal areas, sustainable energy, and governments. A selection of special projects is the so-called hotspots. These projects were developed using a submission and selection process to which individual consortiums, consisting of local municipalities or regional authorities could propose an applied research project. One of the hotspots that were selected was the hotspot climate proof Groningen. This hotspot, aiming to identify strategies to transform the land-use of the province of Groningen in becoming climate proof, was linked to the process of revising the regional plan for the area. The latter process usually takes place directed from the spatial domain, with integration of other domains such as the ones enforced by law: environmental policy, traffic and transport policy, and water policy, as well as other domains, such as the economic and nature policy. The hotspot Groningen operated as the lever to include climate policy in the regional plan as well.
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