Pier Vellinga, with an MSc. in Coastal Engineering from Delft University, joined Delft Hydraulics (now Deltares) in 1976. In 1986 he received his PhD for his work on Beach and Dune Erosion During Storm Surges. In 1988 he joined the Netherlands Ministry of Housing, Physical Planning and the Environment. He was one of the co-founders and (first) Bureau Members of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). In 1991 he took on the position of professor in Environmental Sciences and Global Change and director of the Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM) at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. In 2007 he also joined Wageningen University as professor in Climate Change, Water and Flood safety. In 2014 became board member of the Wadden Academy. He is co-author of the EU report on prosperity and jobs for Europe, DG R&I (2016).

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Climate change has consequences for both natural and human systems.1 Adjusting these systems in order to moderate potential harm or exploit opportunities is called adaptation.2 This is facilitated by spatial planning that optimizes (future) land use.3–6 Local and regional spatial planning is particularly important for successful adaptation, as …

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