24 October 2022 32323 Views

PACT stands for People-driven: Adapting Cities for Tomorrow. It is the ability of cities to deploy and improve nature-based solutions (NBS). In this way we can increase urban resilience and improve the health and well-being of citizens.

Like other cities around the world, Leuven finds itself increasingly confronted with the effects of climate change: drier summers, more frequent flooding, more heatwaves. To combat these and other climaterelated events, the city in recent years has turned to implementing measures aimed at increasing its resilience. Working alongside Leuven 2030, the multi-stakeholder initiative dedicated to accelerating Leuven’s transition, it has made important strides in adapting to climate change, adopting a Rainwater Strategy in 2019 and a Drought Strategy in 2020. It is currently in the process of designing a Greenery Strategy, aimed at expanding and preserving the city’s green spaces. Together, these three strategies make up the city’s adaptation strategy. The adaptation strategy is closely aligned with Leuven 2030’s Roadmap, which sets the overall direction for Leuven’s climate efforts.

To implement its adaptation strategy, the city has established a cross-departmental adaptation team. As its name suggests, this team contains representatives from multiple departments, including the Departments of Sustainability, Greenery, and Road and Water Management. The latter recently converted the strategy’s objectives into a more detailed action plan. The plan involves the implementation of a suite of adaptation measures across the city and the roll-out of a comprehensive communication strategy, designed to raise awareness of, and strengthen the support base for, urban adaptation measures. For its efforts on sustainability and climate change, Leuven in 2018 was rewarded with the European Commission’s Green Leaf Award. In 2020, thanks again in large part to its efforts to address climate change, Leuven received the European Capital of Innovation Award. PACT’s overarching objective is to develop and test an integrated approach to urban climate change adaptation (CCA) that draws on the efforts of multiple stakeholders, including local government, citizens, universities, and private actors, to more effectively deploy NBS.

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