Hanze University of Applied Sciences (HUAS), Groningen, has establishments in Groningen, Assen, Leeuwarden and Amsterdam with approximately 26.000 students and more than 50 professorships. The HUAS distinguishes itself from other colleges by the emphasis on internationalization and the direct link with businesses in the Dutch Northern region. Research is of an applied nature and concentrated in six so-called Centres of Applied Research and Innovation.

Our research group ‘Spatial Transformations and Water’ belongs to the Research Centre for Built Environment (‘NoorderRuimte’). This research centre develops and shares expertise about area development in the north of the Netherlands, thereby functioning as a knowledge broker for business, industry and the not-for-profit sector in the Northern part of the Netherlands and beyond.

The research group specifically focuses on climate adaptation, urban water management and heat stresses. The group’s ambition is to design cost-efficient methods, tools and strategies that facilitate a socio-spatial transformation towards more sustainable and climate-proof urban areas. For this purpose, the research group has developed a quick-scan methodology (‘ClimateScan’ and ‘ClimateCafé’) to map vulnerabilities of a defined urban area, simulate climatic changes and design potential measures and strategies in a participatory way. Next to innovative methods of measuring urban climate, the research group uses storytelling and sketching methods to establish connections between stakeholders, foster dialogue, and motivate action. The research results are internationally shared on the interactive web-based knowledge sharing platforms www.climatescan.nl and www.climatecafe.nl. The research group works together with other Universities of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands (e.g. Leeuwaarden, Amsterdam and Rotterdam) and several international partners.

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