Protecting delta: Heritage helps!

In the coming decennia, the impact of climate change threatens low-lying delta cities and areas. Historically established as trade centers at river mouths, delta cities could experience severe flooding as a result of rising sea levels, heavy rainfall and land subsidence. The origin of delta cities creates different problems and, more important, different opportunities. Heritage can inspire planners in defining protection strategies. Heritage can also be a driver for delta protection because of its economic value, for example due to the UNESCO world heritage status. The physical position of heritage in urbanizing deltas can also change because of new measures that need to be taken to protect a city or an area against the effects of climate change. A new position for heritage in the urbanized delta context could be created. An integrated approach is necessary as climate change has consequences for heritage, the economy, infrastructure, as well as social and living conditions.