How can you raise awareness for climate adaptation? That is the focal question for the Zwolle pilot in the European CATCH programme. Within CATCH seven midsize cities in the North Sea Region each work on their own pilot to find out what it takes to become climate resilient cities, or water sensitive cities that are sustainable, livable and profitable in the long run. Climate Campus proved to be a valuable network for Zwolle to achieve the city’s ambitions for CATCH.

CATCH stands for ‘water sensitive Cities: the Answer To CHallenges of extreme weather events’. The overall objective is to accelerate the redesign of urban water management of midsize cities in the North Sea Region and demonstrate how to do this. The partner cities in the CATCH programme aim to achieve this by the joint development of decision support tools. Such tools can support midsize cities to formulate long term climate adaptation strategies. The design of the decision support tools is based on the needs and characteristics of midsize cities. The tools are tested from start to finish, in the formulation, execution and evaluation of 7 pilots.

Awareness and community building for a water sensitive city
Zwolle is currently developing a long-term climate adaptation strategy on city level. A strategy that integrates measures at all levels (from rivers to rain barrels). Zwolle sees awareness and community building also as important measures to become a water sensitive city. That is why Zwolle’s CATCH team chose to develop a community building strategy and execute it.

The Zwolle pilot focuses on the question of how we can advance the movement in the city with community building, serious gaming and a City Debate. There is already a growing movement in Zwolle in the city to jointly find solutions for new issues, such as climate adaptation. We want to encourage this with community building. 

Within the community building strategy serious gaming is proposed as a means to build awareness in society. During the CATCH project a Climate Escape Room was built and tested and the online serious game Garden Battle was developed and introduced to the Zwolle community.

In addition, Zwolle wanted to use the CATCH pilot to learn how to use community building in a smart way. Therefore, the community building strategy is a description of the working method that Zwolle already follows in the city. And which the city can test and expand thanks to the CATCH Interreg NSR project.

Climate Campus proved to be a valuable network to achieve the CATCH ambitions. It fits in with the wish from the region to find solutions to withstand the impact of climate change, and even make smart use of the challenges as opportunities to build a delta of the future. Zwolle is one of the founding fathers of network and therefore partner in the Climate Campus network.

Within Climate Campus we are experimenting with new forms of governance, in which the professional community of Climate Campus is connected with the broad delta community. The challenge is how to encourage collaboration between public authorities, educational institutions, science community, businesses, consultancies and the local communities and make it the starting point for all initiatives. Aligning policies and programmes can provide much more added value, both in the process as in the end result.