Universiteit Leiden

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Research project

C-SCAPE - Sandy strategies for sustainable coastal climate change adaptation

What is the optimal design of sandy solutions for sustainable climate change adaption, from an ecological, biophysical and societal point of view?

2020 - 2025
Alexander van Oudenhoven
NWO ENW ‘Living Labs in the Dutch Delta’ nr. 17595

Research into novel, multi-functional sandy strategies for coastal climate change adaptation, inspired by interdisciplinary living labs.


Climate change projections for the Netherlands force us to think creatively about a long-term coastal protection strategy, including but not limited to beach nourishments. C-SCAPE is inspired by interdisciplinary (pilot) projects of the past decade, which fit in an innovative climate-resilient coastal protection strategy. This interdisciplinary project builds up on expertise and outcomes from multiple institutes, and public and private end-users.

Evaluating sandy solutions through ecosystem services

Researchers from Leiden University will contribute to designing sandy solutions for sustainable climate change adaption, from an ecological, biophysical and societal point of view. Taking into account the uncertain and complex drivers underlying the efficacy and implementation of sandy solutions, we will develop an ecosystem services framework. This framework will inform interdisciplinary modelling and evaluation of sandy solutions, which will be the basis for C-Scape’s further exploration of climate adaptation pathways.  

Approaching the problem

Innovative strategies and technologies are needed to assess the feasibility and benefits of scaling up multi-purpose sandy strategies for climate adaptation. Our work package targets a spatially explicit decision-making rationale to assess and evaluate possible future scenarios (generated within the project) – taking into account insights from policy makers, scientists and society at large. 


A comprehensive interdisciplinary framework that provides insights into optimal designs of sandy solutions. Furthermore, we will develop a spatially explicit model to quantify coastal ecosystem services over time and space, based on ecological and biophysical characteristics and societal factors.

When designing sandy solutions for coastal management, studying ecosystem services like recreation and coastal protection can help to evaluate scenarios and policies. Moreover, they can help to take the different interests of stakeholders into account. Image by JAM Visual Thinking
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