Blue-Green Infrastructure: An Opportunity for New Natural Heritage in Zwolle





Living with water is an essential part of the cultural heritage of the city of Zwolle, NL. The historic development of the city within its water systems has been recognized as an inspiration for climate adaptation. In July 2019, the city of Zwolle presented its Adaptation Strategy. Building on its water heritage, a cohesive blue-green network (city scale) in the city can develop and expand, with room for urban sponges (neighborhood scale) that will combat heat stress. This will create a new natural heritage that is recognized and supported by the community. In this plan, various components are interconnected and will strengthen the blue-green network as the physical basis of an adaptation strategy to make Zwolle and its surroundings climate proof and adaptive. Zwolle’s blue-green transformation aims at achieving SDG 11 “Sustainable Cities and Communities” and has the potential to fulfill targets regarding climate action (SDG13), the protection of water quality (SDG 6) and the restoration of biodiversity (SDG 14 and 15).

How to Cite

Dolman, N. (2022). Blue-Green Infrastructure: An Opportunity for New Natural Heritage in Zwolle. Blue Papers, 1(2), 166–177.





methodologies and case studies


Dolman, Nanco. 2019a. “Zwolle Adaptation Strategy – Green-Blue Part.” Accessed 7 December 2022. (in Dutch)

Dolman, Nanco. 2019b. “Adaptation Strategy for Zwolle – Towards a Liveable and Attractive Blue- Green City.” WaterSolutions 4 (December): 18-21.

Dolman, Nanco. 2021. “Monitoring Climate Change Adaptation Goals Zwolle.” Accessed 7 December 2022. (in Dutch)

Municipality of Zwolle. 2019. “Zwolle Climate Atlas.” Accessed December 7, 2022. (in Dutch)

Özerol, Gül, Nanco Dolman, Helge Bormann, Hans Bressers, Kris Lulofs, and Mike Böge. 2020. “Urban Water Management and Climate Change Adaptation: A Self-Assessment Study by Seven Midsize Cities in the North Sea Region.” Sustainable Cities and Society 55 (April): 102066.