GEMEENTE DORDRECHT is a public, non-profit, local governmental organization. Dordrecht, with its 118 782 inhabitants, is the fifth municipality in the Dutch province of South Holland. The urban agglomeration Drechtsteden where Dordrecht is part of, with approximately 280,000 inhabitants is the 9th of the Netherlands. The city is the place where the river Merwede, the lower reaches of the river Rhine, splits into the North and the Oude Maas. The municipality of Dordrecht covers the entire island. Part of the island is situated outside the protected dike ring. About 14.000 inhabitants live in the un-embanked area, of which around 4.000 number live in the historical harbour area. On the eastern and southern part of the island nature areas belonging to the national (tidal nature) park the 'Biesbosch' are situated.
Dordrecht has worked for 10 years on water safety policy, taking in account climate scenario’s till 2050 and 2100. The city cooperates very closely with the regional partners, the central government and multiple knowledge institutes. The city has developed a (flood) risk management strategy, not only based on a low probability flood event but also on decreasing the impact with measures in spatial planning, protection of critical infrastructure, preparation on crisis management and increasing resilience of inhabitants, enterprises and local organizations. This strategy is based on the multilevel safety principle, where disaster risk management of the city encompasses prevention, preparedness, response & recovery measures.
The work regarding climate adaptation and disaster risk management is part of the national strategy that in 2050 the Netherlands will be climate-proof and water-robust. Therefore, the goal is that Dordrecht needs to know how to act climate-proof and water-robust by 2020, in order to be a climate-proof city by 2050.
The Municipality of Dordrecht has a long history of flood vulnerability. It also has an old historical center which has been on both literally and figuratively on the fore front of flood resilience in the Netherlands. Dordrecht has become a frontrunner in climate adaptation, water safety and citizen engagement. This was done through participation in city2city learning networks and within a Learning and Action Alliance (public and academic partners working together).
Dordrecht has together which partner organizations bundled their efforts regarding flood and risk management in the Living Lab Self-reliant Island of Dordrecht, in which the city works toward being able to manage flood risk, by increasing awareness and resilience. One of its partners in this is Rijkswaterstaat who monitors all flood related damage in the un-embanked area of the city. Together with the citizens of the un-embanked historic area workshops were organized to access the resilience and coping capacities of the people regarding their livelihoods, further activities are necessary to enhance the resilience regarding the new risks due to climate change.
Finally, as part of the larger ambition surrounding climate adaptation, risk dialogues will be held with relevant organizations and inhabitants regarding the climate stress tests that are currently being validated. In these risk dialogues the different organization will together decide what is an acceptable risk and what is not for the historic city center, for not only water safety, but also drought and heat stress. DORD will be involved in performing a key role in Dordrecht case study.