A transdisciplinary knowledge agenda for integrated real estate and infrastructure climate risk management in the Dutch delta

Climate change confronts us with new risks and challenges. The quality and value of our built environment, especially in the low lying, vulnerable, yet densely populated areas of our country, are under pressure. This calls for spatial investments and innovations from governments firms, and citizens alike. However, the relationships between climate change, real estate, and infrastructure are not well understood or addressed today.

Transdisciplinary approaches — those that combine relevant scientific and practical insights — are urgently needed, and Red&Blue is a platform that aims to do just that. Our goal is to bring together scientists and practitioners to co-develop an integrated climate governance strategy for the Dutch delta and beyond.



Red&Blue (Real Estate Development & Building in Low Urban Environments), is a five-year transdisciplinary knowledge agenda and impact program focused on the development of integrated real estate and infrastructure climate risk strategies for the Dutch delta and beyond.

Our shared purpose is to create a common language, shift understandings, build collective governance capacity, and promote systems-changing spatial strategies that guide urban re/development and investment in Dutch delta settings.



Climate risks and sustained urbanization in low-lying regions are creating new pressures on the Dutch delta. These pressures have economic, social, environmental, and political dimensions, and implications for how real estate re/development and infrastructure investments in the Netherlands are planned and governed.

Today’s real estate and infrastructure climate risk management strategies are rather individuated by firms, and siloed across sectors. There is an insufficient foundation of shared, accessible knowledge related to real estate climate risk that can support transparent and integrated decision-making. A better understanding of the complex relationships between climate risks in real estate and infrastructure, and the systems that govern our response to these risks, is vital.



Sparking transformation in the built environment requires new and combined knowledge from a range of disciplines and domains. Thus, the Red&Blue program is built upon different focus areas and disciplines such as economics, governance and law, urban planning, knowledge integration, climate vulnerability, and engineering.

Corresponding to these disciplines, the program is structured with seven Work Packages (WPs). The first four WPs are largely focused within a specific disciplinary domain, but will receive inputs or generate outputs from/to other WPs. WPs 5-7 provide the ground for the former lines of analysis to come together, both conceptually and practically, through a range of collaborative activities.

  • Map the current exposure of Dutch real estate and its owners and users to climate risk.
  • Investigate asset-level price effects associated with physical climate risk observed in the Netherlands.
  • Explore the first-, second-, and third-order economic and political effects of climate-related real estate asset devaluation, as well as their spatial and temporal distribution.
  • Create an inventory of current strategies for real estate climate risk management in the Netherlands, and explore international best practices.
  • Based on the outcomes of the above-mentioned objectives, explore principles, new tools, and reforms needed to promote adequate and integrated climate risk management in the Delta.
  • Analyse existing governance arrangements on climate risk management including the formal and informal divisions of responsibilities between public and private actors within those arrangements
  • Explore equitable and efficient governance arrangements that could enhance climate resilient infrastructure and real estate assets
  • Analyse how public and private actors respond to the explored governance arrangements aimed at enhancing climate resilient infrastructure and real estate assets
  • Co-create effective and equitable governance arrangements for organizing joint responsibility for climate resilient infrastructure and real estate assets
  • Leverage and integrate available data and methods about various physical climate risks in a multi-hazard climate risk assessment tool (using metrics and maps) that is directly usable for real estate and infrastructure climate risk management at the urban area scale.
  • Demonstrate how various physical risk scenarios (e.g. a subset of compound and consecutive physical shocks) can be constructed and used by stakeholders for risk evaluation and decision-making.
  • Create metrics and tools to enable assessment asset- and urban area-scale climate resilience, taking into account the interplays between the environmental and socio-economic dimensions of resilience.
  • Identify baseline standards, principles, and best practices which should guide the use of physical climate scenarios and resilience tools within real-world decision-making.
  • Identify and validate key spatial- and time-variant technical risk mitigation measures which reduce climate risk at the urban area scale.
  • Assess the spatial- and time-variant effectiveness of individual technical measures, and their effectiveness in combinations, when incorporating the uncertainties of climate change scenarios. Determine optimal balance of measures and their distribution across scale and responsibility (public vs private).
  • Demonstrate how multi-objective optimization be incorporated in a real-life decision-making framework (e.g. to design adaptive pathways) given high levels of uncertainty and complexity.
  • Generate cross-disciplinary research insights and build collective governance capacity through dialogue, reflection, and mutual learning facilitated within the Integrative Forum and other ‘soft spaces’ of the consortium.
  • Leverage Artificial Intelligence (AI) to draw out stakeholders’ institutionalized logics, tactics and procedures in order to facilitate cross-consortium reflection and learning and build collective governance capacity.
  • Create generalizable institutional and strategic insights about how to enable productive two way transdisciplinary and cross-actor exchanges which build capacity for integrated climate risk management in the built environment, and which can be leveraged in comparable urban regions in the Netherlands and beyond.
  • Identify and understand the challenges, barriers and enablers for the implementation of integrated real estate and infrastructure climate risk management strategies in urban delta areas.
  • Develop co-creative approaches for the local agenda-setting, development and implementation and integration of equitable and just real estate and infrastructure climate risk management strategies.
  • Test and validate models, methods, approaches, strategies, tools and solutions developed in the Work Packages 1-5 in a real-world setting.
  • Identify conditions and requirements for the development and implementation of inclusive, equitable and just urban outcomes.
  • Facilitate knowledge exchange at the interface between research and practice, i.e. between the internal consortium and external parties.
  • Promote societal dialogue about real estate and infrastructure climate risk management beyond academic and technical/expert audiences.
  • Internationalize consortium insights for external practitioner and scientific audiences.



We embed shared, frank dialogue and real-world learning in the heart of what we do. Our transdisciplinary approach is built upon a three-layer knowledge integration and impact plan through which representatives from public and private sectors are actively involved in two-way knowledge exchange.

This involves embedding research activities with urban use case insights in the Rotterdam and Amsterdam regions to stimulate transformations in the real estate climate risk management approaches. This methodology has been developed to be dynamic, enabling us to evolve to incorporate new views and respond to knowledge needs as they emerge in the coming years.

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