Gemeente Leiden: Water and Climate Change. Climate Proofing the Neighbourhood
Climate Proofing the Neighbourhood: Evaluating Citizen’s Participation in the City of Leiden
- Erik de Maaker
For the city of Leiden, climate change results in more heat waves and extended periods of drought, as well as more frequent heavy downpours. This creates risks regarding overheating as well as flooding.
In anticipation of these changes, the municipality is making efforts to make neighbourhoods 'climate proof'. This means adapting the gutters, and creating more possibilities for the absorption of heat. Leiden municipality has participated in a EU funded project (SPONGE), aimed at ‘guiding’ citizen’s participation in the planning and enactment of these measures. This project has focused on Leiden Noord, but will be concluded in 2020. Leiden municipality will continue to work along the same lines in the Gasthuiswijk, and then in Haagweg-Zuid. Leiden municipality envisages a student research project to evaluate these citizens’ participation projects (For an example, see: https://youtu.be/QudXVw6eW8w.).
Who are the citizens participating, and who do not engage? Does everyone feel free, or is motivated, to attend such meetings? What are citizen’s preferences, and how do these relate to the guidelines of the municipality? This research internship is open to all students, but non-Dutch speaking students will have to find ways to cope with a predominantly Dutch language environment.