City Profiles

Arnhem - Netherlands

Climate change impacts

Expected further heating of city climate (with effects on outdoor climate and health aspect of elderly people), more and heavy rainfall and higher water levels in Arnhem's main rivers (increased risk of flooding). Water scarcity is related to the amount of surface water in our municipality and not related to groundwater supplies.

Main motivation for taking adaptation action

The ambition of the city council is to remain a city with a good climate and one in which it is pleasant for citizens to live, work, and engage in recreational activities, even in the face of extreme weather. Arnhem also aims to improve its response to the changing climate and protect vulnerable citizens, especially during heat waves.

Adaptation strategy

Have you already developed an adaptation strategy?
Yes, we have an adaptation strategy
Name of the strategy/ plan (If adopted)
City Structure Vision 2020-2040
Date of strategy/plan approval
Dec 10, 2012
Summary of the strategy/plan
The City Structure Vision focuses on the spatial development of the city between 2020 and 2040. The main themes related to climate adaptation in the Vision include city climate (livability and health), water, and energy transition/savings. Adaptation and mitigation are also the main aims of the city's 'Energy made in Arnhem', which is a programme developed by the city council and over 100 partners (public, private, enterprises, & knowledge institutions), focussing on mitigation, adaptation, clean transport, energy and environmental technology, and fair trade.

Planned adaptation actions

Some of the concrete adaptation actions that Arnhem plans to take include incorporating adaptation advice, with a focus on water, livability, and health, into all spatial planning processes; greening particularly warm urban areas; cooperating with the Regional Health Service to prevent heat-related health risks for the elderly; and teaming up with housing co-operations, water boards, and other relevant actors to ‘make room' for the area's rivers and prevent the severe impacts of excessive rain.

Good practice / spotlight item

Assessing Arnhem's Urban Heat Island
In response to a warming urban environment and in cooperation with several universities, Arnhem conducted a heat assessment study in 2011 and determined that it experiences the Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect, which negatively impacts the livability and image of the city, as well as the health of vulnerable groups. To provide relief from the heat, Arnhem plans to 1) keep large parks, floodplains, and the banks of rivers open and green; 2) utilize cooling air streams, especially from the hills of the Veluwe, by channeling them into the built-up areas, 3) green areas that are particularly warm; and 4) raise awareness about the heat-related health risks for vulnerable citizens in cooperation with the Regional Health Service. Furthermore, based on the Heat Attention Map (left), specific advice is given to all spatial projects.
What sectors are concerned
  • Biodiversity
  • Disaster Risk Reduction
  • Financial
  • Health
  • Urban
  • Water management
Arnhem experiences the Urban Heat Island effect.

Climate change impacts

  • Extreme Temperatures
  • Flooding
  • Water Scarcity

Key vulnerable sectors

  • Urban
  • Buildings
  • Biodiversity
  • Financial
  • Energy
  • Health
  • Transport


Herman Kaiser


150000 inhabitants

Contact person

Hans van Ammers
Chief Officer, Public Spaces


Date of officially joining Mayors Adapt

Oct 14, 2014

Last Update

Sep 26, 2016

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