Sino-German Cooperation
on Biodiversity, Climate and Environment
On behalf of International Climate Initiative (IKI)

Rotterdam, the Netherlands: Improving Urban Water Resilience

About a quarter of the Netherlands is below sea level, and floods such as seawater intrusion as well as storm floods threaten most areas, including Rotterdam, the second largest city in the Netherlands. The Port of Rotterdam is located at the mouth of the Rhine-Maas Delta. Climate change has caused sea levels to rise, while increasing the risk of flooding in the delta. On the one hand, the amount of water from upstream has increased; on the other hand, the sea level rises due to climate change, which leads to an increase in storm surges from the sea; the land sinks at a fixed rate every year. Rotterdam’s environmental planning blueprint “Rotterdam Climate Initiative” proposes to use natural conditions to adapt to changes and find solutions in the entire urban space, so as to build a “sponge city” and enhance the defense against meteorological disasters.