'Of the 100.000 hectares of business parks in the Netherlands, only 1 per cent exists of 'natural elements'. As a result, 87% of the 3.500 business parks are susceptible to flooding when heavy rainfall occurs. The expectation is that in case nothing changes, in thirty years the average temperature on a summer day can rise up to 40.8 degrees Celsius.' - RIVM.
These are the main issues related to climate adaptation in business parks - that form a severe threat to ourselves, our businesses and our economy.
Increasing heat and drought
Lack of responsibility, urgency and finance
As 1/6th of the Dutch built environment is used for businesses and production facilities, business parks make up a large share of the Dutch infrastructural landscape. They are characterised by high levels of impermeable surfaces which trap heat leading to heat stress and the urban heat island effect - a phenomenon in which temperatures can increase up to 9 degrees Celsius as compared to the surrounding environment. The high levels of impermeable surfaces are also accompanied by a lack of greenery and biodiversity, which further aggravates the urban heat island effects and puts a strain on available ecosystems for wildlife. The biodiversity at business parks is exorbitantly low. This is highly worrisome as 500 business parks are located within less than 500 meters of a Natura 2000 area.
The effects of the lack of green and climate adaptive measures go further than just (financial) effects on infrastructure and (for humans) intangible effects on nature. Greener working environments have proven to accommodate better mental health and help to release stress. It seems unbelievable that we spend so much time in these grey concrete jungles while more than a third of long-term illness has a mental cause and is related to the pressure at work. Investing in green does not just look good, it will likely also pay you back through a healthier workforce. For more details and calculations: click here.
If you read this and think, okay, Natura 2000, biodiversity, who cares?!
Let us make it simple for you.
Our business parks are deteriorating and we - and our businesses, infrastructure, financial structures, etc. - are therefore under increasing risk every day. We are watching problems pile up while we have the possibility to do something about this. And quite easily too. Click here to find solutions.
Find this text including references here.
For more information on the living lab project through which this tool was created: