The Delta Programme will affect the lay-out of the Netherlands: nearly all the measures entail a spatial impact. With a view to the importance of spatial quality and of linking up with other ambitions and taskings, proper coordination between “water” and “spatial planning” is essential. Spatial design constitutes a key tool in this respect. Ensuring the quality of decisions and plans calls for attention to be paid to the interconnectivity between regional and main water systems, within the themes as well. Furthermore, within the main water system, interconnectivity at the national scale is relevant too: choices made in the area around the major rivers could have an impact on the IJsselmeer Region and the Rhine Estuary-Drechtsteden area; what happens in the Nieuwe Waterweg is of relevance to the Southwest Delta.
One of the points for attention emerging from the evaluation of the Delta Act involves the reinforcement of integration with other spatial taskings in the period ahead. The Cabinet and the administrative partners have requested the Delta Programme Commissioner to monitor, using the “Monitoring, Analysing, Acting” system, whether the focus on the statutory flood risk management and freshwater supply taskings is in balance with the pursuit of an integrated approach.
In the pursuit of integrality within the Delta Programme, the primary focus is on connecting the flood risk management and freshwater supply taskings with ambitions in other fields, such as shipping, nature, recreation, and regional economic development. To supplement this focus, the Delta Programme will step up its efforts to explore opportunities for better inter-linkage between the taskings related to flood risk management, freshwater supply, and spatial adaptation. This will be substantiated mainly at the regional and local levels. The progress reports that the regions and the themes have submitted to the Delta Programme Commissioner reflect various good examples of an integrated approach. Particularly with respect to the spatial adaptation and freshwater supply taskings, an integrated stance is common practice. With respect to the flood risk management taskings, linkage opportunities are provided and encouraged at all levels. In order to enable further substantiation of the integrated approach, it is important to create sufficient time; this will also be conducive to the opportunities for (co)financing.
In line with the investment agendas of the Association of Provincial Authorities, the Association of Dutch Regional Water Authorities, and the Association of Netherlands Municipalities, it is imperative for the provinces, district water boards, and municipalities to incorporate sustainability goals (energy-neutral, climate-proof, and circular design) when elaborating measures ensuing from the Delta Programme.
Since 2016, the Delta Programme has been placing projects that connect water and spatial planning on a map in order to encourage the exchange of expertise and experience.
The independent committee that evaluated the Delta Act in 2016 expressed a highly positive opinion, and pointed out that the Delta Programme taskings could be interlinked with other spatial taskings to an even greater extent. In its response, the Cabinet indicated its intention to focus considerable attention on such efforts in the years ahead.
Spatial design is a key tool for establishing connections: between interests; between local, regional, and national developments; and between long-term strategies and implementation projects. Spatial design can facilitate collaboration between parties.
In 2017, the Delta Programme partners will be joining forces with Atelier X to employ design as an instrument for the Rhine tributaries, spatial adaptation, and the Delta Plan on Flood Risk Management. Atelier X will also contribute to the Regional Agenda for the IJsselmeer Region, with design at the interface of spatial planning, climate, and water.
Atelier X has been set up as a component of the Spatial Design Action Agenda 2017-2020, and follows up on the spatial design efforts that have been expended over recent years through the Delta Design Platform. Atelier X employs design for strategic agendas and complex area developments, encourages knowledge development, and acts as a liaison between the parties involved. The results of the design efforts expended in 2016 (through the Delta Design Platform) have been made available in an online magazine.