To prepare the 2 Seas Region for the emerging trend in Climate Change | 2 Mers Seas Zeeën

Polder2C's

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To prepare the 2 Seas Region for the emerging trend in Climate Change

Priority Axis

Adaptation to Climate Change

Specific objective

Adaptation to Climate Change

Lead partner

Stichting Toegepast Onderzoek Waterbeheer

Begindatum

01/12/2019

Einddatum

30/09/2022

Project budget

6 499 430

ERDF amount

3 899 658

ERDF rate

60%

    Over

    Common challenge

    Climate change is affecting countries in the 2 Seas area faster and more extreme than previously expected. The common challenge is to pro-actively prepare all 2 Seas stakeholders to climate change challenges. They need to embed the potential impact of flooding in their plans, on a strategic, tactical and operational level. The biggest challenge is that stakeholders do not know exactly how strong the flood defences are and how well emergency response is organized in practice. Most scenarios and decision support systems are based on theoretical models. Another challenge is to raise awareness among the general public and stakeholders that no guarantee can be given for a full-proof flood defence. Stakeholders in the 2 Seas countries need to test the viability of current and future proof flood resilience and emergency response approaches in practice. De-poldering of Hedwige- and Prosperpolder offers a unique 6 km2 living lab to validate flood defence and emergency response practices.

    Main Achievements

    Polder2Cs had an energetic start. Despite COVID related restrictions, partners have enthusiastically and actively contributed towards the various activities which resulted in a living lab. Once it was operational, several activities were organised, ranging from survey and training to testing and exercising. Autumn 2020 a first set of experiments have been performed. For interested people (both professionals and general public), we made close connection to the experiments possible by regular vlogging, inspiring news letters and last but not least a live stream which was accessible for anybody.

    We also were able to perform emergency exercises, also using the newly developed inspection app called App2c. Especially the damage caused by overflow experiments provided unexpected opportunities to cooperate on elaboration and actual implementation of repair measures.

    We have organised a Winter School for March 2021 and a levee challenge for teams of students in Spring 2021. Both events have attracted a lot of students that want to be involved. Also there is interest from young professionals, the project is considering if this would be an option as well. Regarding the curricula we are proud to have already a couple of master and PhD students working on subjects on levee safety and emergency response. Students are very enthousiastic to visit the living lab.

    Partners were able to build cooperation and mutual trust by regular partner meetings via Teams and ZOOM. Also the social event that was organised in a digital way was highly appreciated as getting to know each other and knowing about the way other institutions work is also a main goal of being involved in an Interreg project.

    A specific highlight of the project was the visit the Dutch Delta commissioner and the Secretary General of the Flemish ministry paid to the living lab in October. A creative solution, using large military tents to host the estimated guests, was found on the Dutch/ Belgian border to meet COVID proof and to share project progress.

    We were able to actively engage observers from France, Belgium and The Netherlands by organising digital observer meetings per country. In these meetings also other interested organisations participated, made enthusiastic by the official observer partners. This resulted in a very positive response and even offers for additional support by providing high capacity pumps and staff for exercises. In the UK observers have been informed by mail and phone.

    Partnership

    Partners

    Departement Mobiliteit en Openbare Werken

    Université de Lille

    South West Water

    Environment Agency

    Technische Universiteit Delft

    Provincie Zeeland

    Ministerie van Defensie

    Katholieke Universiteit Leuven

    ISL Ingénierie

    HZ University of Applied Sciences

    Centre d'Etudes et d'Expertise sur les risques,l'Environnement,la Mobilité et l'Aménagement

    Ministerie van Infrastructuur en Watermanagement - Rijkswaterstaat