Over half of the global population live in urban areas and this is predicted to rise. Many urban areas are vulnerable to gradual environmental change and many city dwellers are concerned with the impacts of rapid or unregulated land use change, environmental health and human well-being. This is further exacerbated within city communities especially those that are socio-economically disadvantaged. Urban planners, managers and designers face demands from communities and individuals for more inclusivity in planning adaptive strategies.
Thus, the key challenge in European cities is to devise holistic transition strategies that are tailored to the needs of all stakeholders; strategies that are flexible, adaptive and applicable across urban regions and scales. These are the challenges that are being addressed by the TURAS Project. TURAS will demonstrate to city communities, businesses, planners, policy-makers and managers mechanisms for transition that may be created and implemented as we strive to move to more sustainable urban living.
TURAS is a five year Project (2011-2016) that will develop visions, feasible strategies, spatial scenarios and guidance tools to help cities address the urgent challenges of:
- climate change adaptation and mitigation
- natural resources shortage
- unsustainable urban growth.
Within the TURAS project, academic partners collaborate with public and private partners to address prominent issues in various European cities. IVM is collaborating closely with the municipality of Rotterdam within the TURAS project. For the Rotterdam area, research activities relate mainly to flooding and urban ecosystem services. With respect to flooding, the focus is on assessing the impact of flooding and the effect of adaptation measures in the harbour district. Particularly indirect (economic) effects related to business interruption and (temporary) loss of infrastructure will be investigated. Also more local flooding due to failure of secondary embankments will be explored. The urban ecosystem services research aims to develop and apply methods for the assessment of such services. Demand and supply of urban ecosystem services will be mapped and the social value of services will be determined. Using this information, urban planning on the allocations of services can be optimized and scenarios for future city development can be evaluated. Multiple benefits of certain measures will explicitly be considered in this context.
More information on the flooding research can be found here.
More information the urban ecosystem services research can be found here.