Landscapes - People - Global change

Month: November 2023 (Page 1 of 2)

New review paper on social barriers to NBCA

Figure 1 in Rahman et al. (2023) showing interconnected, nested and path dependent natures of barriers to NbCA.

Figure 1 in Rahman et al. (2023) showing interconnected, nested and path dependent natures of barriers to NbCA.

Today I see the long-awaited publication of the literature review that H. M. Tuihedur Rahman led as a postdoc with the Making Room for Movement project. Open access in Nature-based Solutions, the paper Characterizing social barriers to nature-based coastal adaptation approaches, demonstrates the importance of institutional and psychological barriers (among many others) in affecting the uptake of nature-based options.

Delft and Rotterdam

Rooftop solar panels reflecting in the morning light along the dykelands at Wageningen

A relict windmill (traditionally used to pump water to drain wet land) near the Delft train station.

I left the Netherlands by ferry, crossing to Harwich UK, and that allowed me a bit of time to explore Delft and Rotterdam enroute to the port at Hook of Holland Haven (harbour). This was mostly tourist time for me, a chance to pursue good decaf coffee–the Dutch are highly caffeinated and look at me suspiciously and (I might be imagining this) a bit pityingly when I order it–and enjoy walking along canals and crossing the lovely little bridges. My many train, bus and tram trips have allowed me a lot of landscape views but little stability for photographs, so I was pleased to find a preserved windmill in the centre of Delft (left). These landscape stalwarts are still used to pump water to keep land dry in the Netherlands; much of that land is below sea level and in fact was once sea. Rotterdam is only 15 minutes away from Delft by train and has some very experimental architecture, including the spectacular Markthall, which can be seen in the distance below, like an upturned horseshoe. Then I made my way to the ferry terminal for what was, according to an employee, the roughest crossing of the North Sea in her 13 years with the company. Lucky me. The less said about that the better, but the wind fed the dramatic energy landscapes along the industrial harbour as we sailed out (bottom), and the offshore wind we encountered enroute. It was a wonderful trip, but it is great to be home (and on solid ground).

One of the many Rotterdam canals drained for construction work, the spectacular Markthal in the backgound.

Some of the many wind turbines lining the industrial harbour at Hook of Holland where the ferry departed.

Leaving WUR

Host Dirk Oudes and I at the multifunctional solar park De Kwekerij.

I’m heading out this morning from Wageningen after a full week of presentations and meetings. Wonderful to be immersed in a new university and disciplinary context for the last two weeks, and to have the opportunity to join yesterday’s field trip to sights relevant to the Climate-Responsive Planning and Design master’s course. Thanks to everyone for making my stay so interesting, Dirk for the invitation, and Wimek for the funding. As I leave, the Netherlands is dealing with surprises in its federal election yesterday.

Presenting to the Landscape Architecture and Spatial Planning chair group meeting

Presenting to the WUR graduate elective course Climate-Responsive Planning and Design

The multifunctional solar park De Kwekerij and its adjacent neighbourhood (notably without solar PV on roofs)

Coastal reports and coverage

Two things are out from the lab this week on topics coastal.

Keahna Margeson, IDPhD student and 2023 OpenThink cohort member, had a commentary published in the Conversation called Let coastlines be coastlines: how nature-based approaches can protect Canada’s coasts. It is a great read!

The release of the report on last year’s scenario planning workshop for the Bay of Fundy coast was covered in DalNews. The report, Envisioning Environmental Futures for the Tidal Wetlands and Dykelands of the Bay of Fundy, is led by Elson Galang, the PhD student at McGill who led the workshop, but with lots of lab folks in the mix, including Keahna, Lara Cornejo, and Polly Nguyen.

Two reports have also been uploaded to Borealis based on ResNet work by team members. These works set strong groundwork for others to build on.

Bikes, buses, trams and trains

My bike started with a mushy back tire but I enjoyed my tour along the polders.

I have embraced bicycle and public transit during my stay in Wageningen. Dutch bike lanes never disappear and leave you wondering where you belong, and the landscape is relatively flat and kind to those unused to the saddle. On Thursday I rented a bike and visited some nearby sites such as Doorwerth Castle.

Ellen and I in Nijmegen

On Friday I toured by bus, tram and train around some nearby towns like Arnhem, Nijmegen and Amsterdam to do some visiting but also see the landscape. A big highlight, personally and professionally, was seeing former MES Ellen Chappell who is now doing her PhD at Radboud University in Nijmegen, and walking with her to the famous  Making Room for the River project that was completed there a decade ago. The Waal River would often overspill its banks in the tight curve near the city, and so landscape architects retreated a dyke 250 metres into the town of Lent on the opposite shore, and created a river by-pass to store more water that required 50 houses to be relocated (as per Edelenbos et al., 2015).  What you can see below are houses that survived that process, now on an island joined to the towns by 3 new bridges, with the original channel on the right and the new channel on the left. And what houses they are!

The Room for the River project on the Waal River, between Lent and Nijmegen, the original channel to the right

The new Waal channel, dug to Make Room for the River at Nijmegen

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