Project Ideas

Blue Green Infrastructure through Social Innovation


Cities can't cope with more frequent and intense rainfall due to climate change. In addition to conventional grey infrastructure, we need to make urban areas more pervious through blue-green infrastructure (BGI) that are cheaper and more effective. Many small-scale pilots exist, but multiple financial and governance barriers persist: who is responsible, who pays, who maintains? Social innovation is needed. Citiizens can be 'nudged' into action to develop and maintain the eco-system services of BGI. But how?

The following approach will be followed in BEGIN:

  • Demonstrate: include BGI measures in urban redevelopment and subsequent service delivery arrangements. Climate hotspots are tackled by focusing on extreme events and exceedance flows, rather than design-events.
  • Customise, apply and validate social innovation methods from other domains such as 'nudging', crowdsourcing and direct democracy for effective climate adaptation.
  • Transition partner cities' planning and operation, and accelerate wider uptake through the city-to-city learning method, using existing all-encompassing local government networks.

Gemeente Dordrecht



Ellen Kelder

Tel: +31 078 770 4859

Central Aim

Deliver climate adaptation and protection through blue-green infrastructure and sustain BGIs multiple benefits.

Mainstream BGI into urban planning and operation by developing financially feasible governance approaches, business cases and using social innovation.

Envisaged Output

BEGIN will create a replicable approach for implementing blue-green infrastructure and maintaining eco-system services in cities. BGI will be established as the dominante strategy for urban climate adaptation, based on validated business models with active citizens' contributions. Hence, the gridlock in climate adaptation due to current economic circumstances can be overcome.

In particular, BEGIN will deliver:

  • Implementation of 5 urban redevlopment schemes with BGI measures in public space and private properties: green corridors, permeable paving, bio-swales, rainwater harvesting, downspout disconnection, etc.
  • Social innovation toolbox with citizen empowering and citizen supported tools.

Partners Found Already

Municipality Dordrecht, NL (lead partner)

City of Aberdeen, UK

City of Antwerp, BE

City of Ghent, BE

City of Hamburg, D (tbc)

City of Malmö, SE

City of Gothenburg, SE

City of Lund, SE

Municipality of Bergen, NO

Municipality of Copenhagen, DK (tbc)

Municipality of Aarhus, DK (tbc)

Deltares, NL

Technical University of Hamburg, D


Erasmus University of Rotterdam, NL



Partners Sought

If you are interested in joining this project, please contact Ellen Kelder from the City of Dordrecht (

Estimated Budget
€6 mio.

Thematic Keywords
blue green infrastructure, climate change, adaptation, flood resillience, intense rainfall, social innovation, citizen engagement

Lead Beneficiary

17 April 2015

Event Calendar
Events Archive

09 July 2015
06 July 2015
30 June 2015
18 May 2015
21 April 2015