LIFE URBAN ADAPT: Demonstrating urban climate adaptation and resilience in inner city Rotterdam

LIFE Urban Adapt

Cities are vulnerable to the effects of climate change, such as increased risk of flooding, higher temperature due to the urban heat island effect and a deterioration of flora and fauna. Sustainable urban climate adaptation solutions help protect cities against these negatives effects.

LIFE URBAN ADAPT integrates such solutions with a participative approach, which involves private and public stakeholders in order to create mutual benefits. Two demonstration projects in district Zomerhof and along the Nieuwe Maas act as showcases. In the inner city, green infrastructure, water storage capacity and improved infiltration capacity reduce temperatures and risks of sewer flooding, while in the river area green borders are created to restore its natural eco-system and make the city more attractive. Both an innovative tidal channel design, aimed to create optimal lee in the river by constructing a curved breakwater, and a cascading border design for a gradual land-water transition will be demonstrated.

Results derived from the demonstration projects will act as a blueprint for urban climate adaptation which is widely replicable and transferable. In Zomerhof the benefits range from an anticipated surface temperature decrease of 0,5 degrees, 11.550 m2 added green infrastructure, 800 m3 extra water storage capacity and 10% NO2 reduction in the air. Along the Nieuwe Maas 37.500 m2 of green borders will be placed which improves the water quality and biodiversity while increasing flood resilience. Also, the river borders are made much more accessible. Active stakeholder involvement make river areas interesting for sustainable and eco-friendly redevelopment.

Investments such as these strongly connect to several EU climate adaptation policy priorities and the Rotterdam Climate Initiative. Dissemination takes place both nationally and internationally through the EU’s Covenant of Mayors, the ICLEI global cities network and VNG.


  • municipality of Rotterdam
  • Rijkswaterstaat
  • World Wide Fund for Nature Netherlands
  • Province Zuid-Holland (co-financer)


Life 2014

Website with more information

Life Urban Adapt

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