About LIFE UrbanAdapt

LIFE Urban Adapt is working on:

  1. An increased risk of flooding due to intensive rainfall and rising sea water levels.
  2. Elevated temperatures caused by the urban heat island effect (UHI). 
  3. Damage to flora and fauna on land and in water.


Our climate is changing. As a world port city in the Dutch delta, Rotterdam will notice the effects of this. The sea level is rising, which will eventually have consequences for the safety of our dykes. River discharges will become more extreme, increasing the risk of flooding and thus increasing the risk of casualties and (economic) damage. Very intensive rain showers will also occur more often, which the current sewer system can no longer handle and that will lead to water on the streets and other nuisances. At the same time, the chance of prolonged periods of drought and heat increases, which can affect the liveability of the city.
Rotterdam is a forerunner in the field of climate adaptation and in 2001 was the first major European city with an EU-approved climate strategy. The elaboration of this strategy is already visible in several small-scale public locations, such as the water squares.
From 2013, the Rotterdam Adaptation Strategy (RAS) will chart the course along which we will adapt to climate change. Implementation of measures in the city is progressing steadily, but in order to make great strides, climate adaptation must be integrated on a larger scale. This requires commitment not only from the municipality, but also from residents, companies and other social organisations.


To protect the European economy and society from the negative effects of climate change, the EU is looking for sustainable solutions that can contribute to this. That is why the importance of urban adaptation strategies is high on the European policy agenda. Rotterdam is known as a front runner in the field of climate adaptation and was the first major European city with an established adaptation strategy. This complex process requires good cooperation with all relevant stakeholders, where mutual interests are sought and found to implement effective climate adaptation measures together. LIFE Urban Adapt wants to show the potential of this participatory approach for implementing urban climate adaptation strategies and measures. Click here for more information about the European LIFE program.


VIDEO: greening and building in Nassauhaven

19 July 2018

In 2018, the first 18 floating homes (Havenlofts) of Rotterdam will be built in the former Nassauhaven harbor basin. We are also creating a nature-friendly bank here to help the development of nature in an urban environment. Watch the video here.

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ZOHO: The rain garden works!

April 16, 2018

How does the rain garden work? The rain garden forms a green oasis in a stony area. In order to relieve the sewage system in this densely built-up area, rainwater is collected in the rain garden and drained off with a delay. The rainwater that falls in the garden and on the roof of the Hofbogen is collected in a sunken part in the garden…

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January 18, 2018

Many participants of the EUGIC 2017 conference in Budapest visited the LIFE booth. Their interest in the LIFE Urban Adapt poster was great and the LIFE Urban Adapt Story Corner session was well attended. For example, questions related to the different materials used for the climate adaptive neighborhoods (eg rainaway gardens and ceramic tiles). See…

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ZOHO: smart rain barrels have been installed

11 January 2018

We are dealing with increasingly extreme weather. Longer periods of drought alternate with large amounts of rain in a short time. The ZOHO rain letters designed by Studio Bas Sala contribute to the solution for this nuisance. They are rainwater buffer and area marking in one. The rainwater from the roof of the Hofbogen is led to the letters…

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KNOWLEDGE SHARING: Rotterdam shares knowledge with Czech municipalities

November 30, 2017

The Organization of Czech Municipalities (MEPCO) recently requested information about the LIFE Urban Adapt project with the aim of sharing this information with Czech municipalities. Among other things, they were interested in general information such as the duration, purpose, and budget of the project. They have summarized this information in a document in Czech. It…

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ZOHO: Working together on climate adaptation

November 19, 2017

The intended plans aim to make the district more climate-adaptive and to prevent nuisance from extreme precipitation. However, residents have reservations about the approach and fear leaking basements and swampy gardens because the groundwater level will rise permanently as a result of the measures. That is why we are now jointly looking for a solution that is both for…

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