Student use case: Leiden University students for a greener Hoefkade

The Hoefkade neighbourhood in the Hague, like many urban areas in the times of climate change is facing the problem of overheating and flooding. On behalf of the Municipality of the Hague, students of Leiden University have used the Tygron Platform to investigate how the incorporation of greenery and climate adaptation measures could decrease the heat and flooding of the neighbourhood.

Students: Annemiek de Looze, Veerle Cannemeijer, Jos van der Sterre, Max van Beek Study: Area Studies in the Netherlands- Minor Sustainable Development CML Leiden University Commissioned by the Municipality of the Hague

Since the past few years, urban areas are increasingly faced with the consequences of global warming. To fight the negative results of a changing climate, municipalities are constantly on a look out for innovative solutions for improving the liveability of urban areas. One of such areas is the Hoefkade in the Hague which has suffered from heat stress in the summer months and flooding after severe rainfall. To find a solution to these problems, the Municipality of the Hague has asked students of Leiden University who are members of ECOnsultancy to help them with redeveloping of the area. In their project, the students investigated how the incorporation of greenery and climate adaptation measures could decrease the heat and flooding of Hoefkade.

In order to do that, the students developed five different scenarios: the current situation, the all green scenario, the current redevelopment plan and two greener alternatives. For all of these scenarios, the group has used the Tygron Geodesign Platform in order to test the effects that the incorporation of greenery would have on flooding and heat. In the performed tests of the scenarios, the students used
the heat stress overlay and the water overlay integrated into the Platform. In order to measure how the situation has changed in the played scenarios a number of indicators such a modified version of the heat stress indicator, water indicator and the parking space indicator were used.

“It’s is really nice to see how Tygron makes a conceptual thing like a scenario a lot more concrete, making it come alive in front of the students.”

Dr. Benjamin Sprecher – Leiden University

The tests performed in the Tygron software the students were able to conclude that the current plans for the Hoefkade will already prove to be effective and will reduce the heat up to 5,2oC. By simulating the green scenarios, they found out that adding even more greenery will only reduce the heat with an extra 0,10C. The tests with the Tygron Platform have shown that out of all green measures, trees are the most effective in reducing the temperature. While greenery proved to be the perfect solution in decreasing heat, it did not sufficiently reduce the problem of flooding. The tests in the Platform helped the students to find out that an effective solution for flooding could be water storage tanks and permeable bricks.


Tygron Geodesign Platform. Simulation of the water levels after two hours of rain for scenario 0.

Complimentary to the tests conducted with the help of the Tygron Platform, the group has conducted a number of interviews with the local employees and residents of Hoefkade. One of the biggest concerns of the locals was the insufficient greenery in the area. Most interviewees agreed that adding green to the area would increase the liveability of the neighbourhood and help with the problem of high temperatures in the summer months. Among the solutions suggested most frequently by the citizens were the façade gardens, green roofs and flower baskets hanging from lanterns.

“Tygron really brought our project to life. It was very interesting to be able to directly see the consequences of our ideas in the program. With Tygron we were able to make very concrete scenarios and that gave our project a lot of added value. We therefore hope that the municipality can do something with our findings to make the Hoefkade a bit more beautiful and sustainable.”

Annemiek de Looze & Veerle Cannemeijer – the authors of the project

By creating various redevelopment scenarios for the area and testing them with the help of the Tygron Platform, the students were able to make a number of possible solutions to the Municipality. Based on scientific literature and interviews with the locals, they have come up with recommendations for the Municipality which are aligned with the needs and wishes of the Hoefkade community.

“The work done by the students is not so much of importance to the Hoefkade as to the whole of The Hague. The result that the students have shown for the Hoefkade is a starting point for something that goes much further than just a street.”

Harko Pilot – Gemeente Den Haag