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    Interactive geodesign tools

    to support regional adaptation planning

    Tessa Eikelboom

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    Leescommissie: prof. dr. C. Steinitz prof. dr. J.C.J.H. Aerts prof. dr. P. Nijkamp prof. ir. N.D. van Egmond prof. dr. S.C.M. Geertman ‘Interactive geodesign tools to support regional adaptation planning’ PhD thesis, VU University Amsterdam ‘Interactieve beleidsinstrumenten om de ontwikkeling van regionale adaptatie plannen te ondersteunen’ Proefschrift, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam © Tessa Eikelboom, Amsterdam, April 2015 ISBN: 978-94-6259-687-0 Cover image: Bdenk ontwerpbureau Printed by Ipskamp Drukkers, Enschede

    The research on which this thesis is based has been carried out at the Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM) and the faculty of economics and business administrations (FEWEB), VU University Amsterdam. This research has been performed within the framework of Knowledge for Climate programme.

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    Interactive geodesign tools to support regional adaptation planning


    ter verkrijging van de graad Doctor aan

    de Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam,

    op gezag van de rector magnificus

    prof.dr. F.A. van der Duyn Schouten,

    in het openbaar te verdedigen

    ten overstaan van de promotiecommissie

    van de Faculteit der Aard- en Levenswetenschappen

    op woensdag 24 juni 2015 om 9.45 uur

    in de aula van de universiteit

    De Boelelaan 1105


    Tessa Eikelboom

    geboren te Waalwijk

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    promotoren: prof. dr. H.J. Scholten prof. dr. P.H. Verburg copromotor: dr. R. Janssen

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    CHAPTER 1 Introduction 7

    CHAPTER 2 An assessment of geo-information in European regional adaptation strategies 17

    CHAPTER 3 Interactive spatial tools for the design of regional adaptation strategies 33

    CHAPTER 4 Comparison of geodesign tools to communicate stakeholder values 47

    CHAPTER 5 Collaborative use of geodesign tools to support decision making on adaptation to climate change 67

    CHAPTER 6 A spatial optimization algorithm for geodesign 87

    CHAPTER 7 Spatial analysis of soil subsidence in peat meadow areas in Friesland in relation to land and water management, climate change, and adaptation 107

    CHAPTER 8 Using geodesign to develop a spatial adaption strategy for Friesland. 125

    CHAPTER 9 Synthesis and conclusions 139

    Summary 145

    Samenvatting 151

    Bibliography 155

    Dankwoord 163

    About the author 165

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    CHAPTER 1 Introduction

    1.1 Spatial information and decision making Adaptation is a way to respond to a changing environment, as mitigation measures alone are not sufficient to compensate for the expected climate change (IPCC, 2007). Adapting to climate change involves multiple stakeholders, ranging from individuals, firms and civil society to public bodies and governments at local, regional and national scales, and international agencies. Climate change is only one of multiple factors considered in current decision making. To decide how to incorporate climate adaptation in spatial planning, access to relevant spatial information is needed (Davoudi, 2013). In an increasingly connected environment an immense amount of information is available. Additionally, to ensure transparent and flexible decision making the engagement of stakeholders is increasingly embedded into policy (Reed, 2008). Developing an adaptation plan can be seen as a multiplayer game in which different targets need to be maximized, but it is unknown which changes lead to the best situation for all targets. For example, the board game ‘The Settlers of Catan’ (©Catan GmbH, 2015) is about collecting resources to build settlements and collect 10 victory points (Figure 1). Players can use different strategies to win and are able to trade resources. The allocation of settlements depends on the spatial configuration of the ‘land- use’ tiles in relation to their personal strategy, but also relies on the interaction with other players and their strategy. Each player has to adapt his or her strategy according to the revenues.

    Fig. 1. Board game ‘Settlers of Catan’ (©Catan GmbH, 2015)

    Similar to the tasks in the game, the challenges for decision makers can be summarized as the need to condense the available data to provide essential information and support collaboration between multiple stakeholders. In the game, no support is provided on the effects of decisions, as this would accelerate the game, and make the game predictable. In practice, however, decision makers can benefit from spatial information and decision support systems. They can be used to evaluate multiple objectives and in this way offer surplus value in plans that meet the needs of stakeholders, and incorporate both scientific and local knowledge (McCall and Dunn, 2012). In contrast to the game, there are methods to support spatial decision making. One of these methods is called ‘geodesign’ and is defined as an iterative design and planning method, whereby an emerging solution is influenced by (scientific) geospatial knowledge derived from geospatial technologies (Lee et

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    al., 2014). Geodesign tools integrate the exploration of ideas with direct evaluation at the same moment. This thesis is entitled: ‘Interactive geodesign tools to support regional adaptation strategies’, where ‘interactive’ refers to tools that can both be used by multiple stakeholders and provide immediate feedback. To interact with spatial information and receive immediate feedback, an interactive communication device was used, the ‘Touch Table’ (Figure 2). Furthermore, the geodesign tools were focused on supporting the development of regional adaptation strategies by offering an interactive platform to the stakeholders. These regional adaptation strategies are plans that consist of feasible measures to shift a region towards a system that is flexible and robust with respect to future climate changes. Integrating geodesign in an interactive way for use in the development of regional adaptation strategies introduces a new methodology in participatory decision making which supports the exchange of information between stakeholders. The objective of the research described in this thesis is to develop and evaluate a new set of geodesign tools that support the development of regional adaptation planning.

    Fig. 2. Workshop session

    1.2 Spatial planning and climate adaptation Climate change and sustainable development are presenting decision makers with unprecedented challenges, such as interactions at spatial scales, uncertainty, dynamic changes, and contrasting views. These challenges make climate adaptation a complex task from both an information processing and a process point of view. There seems to be little progress towards sustainable development (van Egmond, 2010). As early as in 1987, the Brundtland Report called for changing consumption and production to a

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    system that preserves resources for future generations. However, many environmental problems are still preventing the realization of a sustainable society. These problems include the large amounts of waste, water and air pollution, increasing CO2 emissions, loss of biodiversity, plastic waste in our oceans, the unknown long-term effects of chemicals, overgrazing, nutrient pollution, habitat fragmentation, urban heat islands, flooding due to large expanses of paved surfaces in urban areas. Solving these complex issues requires the integration of different disciplines to provide systems where multiple views and objectives are united. Designing for societal and environmental change is not a solitary activity, rather it is a collaborative endeavour. The current threefold crisis (economic, ecological and social) needs simultaneously action, requiring interaction between economists, ecologists and sociologists. Moreover, it is a learning process in which actors from various backgrounds can gain a better understanding of the role of environmental values in a planning problem. Sometimes climate change can be the sole reason for decision making, but more often climate change is only one of the factors that influence planning. Several levels of governance are involved in initiating the development of regional adaptation strategies. Therefore, regions have a significant role to play in adaptation to climate change (Roggema, 2009; Adge


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