The Rotterdam approach
Climate adaptation and spatial development are inextricably intertwined in Rotterdam. This approach allows urban planners to create designs that effectively address the issue of climate change. At the same time, the necessity to invest in climate adaptation will create and sustain the momentum needed to enhance the city’s attractiveness.
Adaptation to climate change is more than just a necessity for Rotterdam. Perhaps even more importantly, it offers an economic opportunity. This approach is characteristic of Rotterdam Climate Proof. Gaining knowledge and experience fast in combining water management and spatial planning will allow the corporate sector to build a powerful competitive advantage.
Rotterdam’s Adaptation Strategy (RAS)
Climate change resilience in Rotterdam will first and foremost involve sustainable protection against flooding in the areas inside and outside the levees. In addition to flood management, the city will have to focus on other ways to prepare for the consequences of climate change as well, such as higher incidence rates of heat waves, groundwater salinization, changing options for transport by water, and an increased variety of groundwater levels. What is essential for an adaptive strategy is that it is implemented proactively and that it can be adjusted to changing circumstances. This is what we refer to as the Rotterdam Adaptation Strategy (RAS). The implementation of RAS will indeed help to prepare Rotterdam for the future!
The implementation of this proactive strategy requires knowledge and tools, such as a climate atlas for Rotterdam and a framework for consideration that includes climate resilience indicators. Eventually, the issue of climate proofing will have to be included in the early phases of all spatial planning, policy-making, implementation and management.