Arnhem’s Climate-Adaptive Vision for a Cool Network

OMGEVING has been commissioned by the city of Arnhem to develop a climate-adaptive vision for public space in the city centre with the main objective of implementing a cool network. Public space has a crucial role in the attractiveness, quality and liveability of the inner city of Arnhem. Today, however, public space is insufficiently prepared for the changing climate. The city centre is the hottest place in Arnhem and there is flooding during heavy rainfall. In addition, the appearance of the public space lacks quality. It is characterised by a variety of materials, furniture, styles and excessively large areas of hardscape. Moreover, Arnhem’s distinctive green DNA is insufficiently visible.

The various challenges converging in the city centre were considered the perfect opportunity to make Arnhem ‘the coolest city centre in the Netherlands’. By greening the public space in a coherent cool network, both the identity and quality of life of the city centre will be enhanced. The cool network consists of sheltered, shady routes and cool spots and passes by the crucial places in the city that have a clear climate challenge such as heat, and flooding. Expanding this network is the first step towards a climate adaptive city centre. By gradually greening the city centre, through greener streets, inner areas, roofs, etc., the temperature in the city centre will finally decrease and the quality of life will increase. Also, the ‘Arnhem style’ is defined for the design of public spaces. This style reflects how, in the future, the city centre will acquire its own identity with more unity and cohesion. A toolbox with four basic elements will be used for this purpose: the red baked brick, the green DNA, an accessible city centre and the creative sector.

The vision and the toolbox demonstrate how the Arnhem style and the various building elements for a qualitative and climate-adaptive city centre can be applied to the different types of places in Arnhem’s city centre. The toolbox provides tools for the future redesign of a green residential street or city court with clear guidelines towards planting, paving and design elements. The implementation of the cool network will make the city of Arnhem the climate-adaptive and resilient city of the future.

Creating the Cooler City Centre: Arnhem’s Climate-Adaptive Vision for a Greener, Resilient Future

Designer: OMGEVING

Image and Text Credits: OMGEVING

About Damian Holmes 3344 Articles
Damian Holmes is the Founder and Editor of World Landscape Architecture (WLA). He is a registered landscape architect (AILA) working in international design practice in Australia. Damian founded WLA in 2007 to provide a website for landscape architects written by landscape architects. Connect on Linkedin at