Adaptive Planning for Infrastructure and Water Management

TU Delft Adaptive planning

Target Audience

If you are involved in long-term planning, you will find many opportunities to apply these methods in a professional setting. They are most useful for engineers or professionals who have developed a systems-thinking approach to solving complex problems. We recommend this course to professionals with experience with long-term planning or policy-making for infrastructure development and lifecycle management. This course expects good levels of ability in conceptual thinking but does not call for the use of computational skills.


Learn skills and tools needed to analyze ‘deep’ uncertainties, to anticipate change and to design adaptation pathways for large-scale and long-term interventions in infrastructure and water management systems.

Recent events show the vulnerability of infrastructure to unexpected or difficult-to-predict events. Flood security is frequently threatened and returns on investment in infrastructure are vulnerable to shifts in climate change, to financial crises, to disruptive innovations or to trend-breaks.

Experts and policy-makers need to develop long-term policies that can anticipate these uncertain changes rather than merely react to the undesired events they bring about. To achieve this, professionals in these fields need innovative tools and methods to cope with uncertainties and enable them to design adaptive plans.

Learning Objectives

Articulate and defend choices in long-term planning or decision-making under uncertainty
Use a structured method to develop scenarios for plausible but uncertain futures
Identify indicators and actors for the monitoring and evaluation of an adaptation pathway
Design an adaptation pathway and evaluate its performance in a serious game
Make recommendations on how to deal with the strengths and weaknesses of adaptation pathways during their implementation