LIFE Project Cover Photo

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

Reference: LIFE14 CCA/NL/000302 | Acronym: LIFE URBAN-ADAPT



Climate change is a global development issue, with the potential to cause serious problems for the urban environment: 1. Increased flood risk because of increased precipitation and rising water levels; 2. Increased temperatures resulting from the urban heat island effect; and 3. Deterioration of native flora and fauna on land and in water.

Rotterdam is the first major European city with an approved climate adaptation strategy. Implementation in public areas is ongoing, but to make real strides, climate adaptation has to be significantly scaled up. This requires the participation of not just the City of Rotterdam, but also other private and public stakeholders in the targeted areas.

This complicated process requires close collaboration with all relevant parties to identify mutual benefits from the implementation and maintenance of effective climate adaptation measures.


The main goal of LIFE URBAN-ADAPT is to demonstrate an innovative, participatory approach as an essential element in creating acceptance and commitment among the public and stakeholders for large-scale implementation of urban adaptation strategies and related measures. The project will test a participatory approach in two different settings. The project will also create a blueprint for development of a climate change strategy and for participatory decision-making processes that are necessary for implementing urban climate adaptation strategies on a large scale. Finally, the project will increase the climate resilience of two districts (ZoHo and the Nieuwe Maas), while restoring their eco-systems and biodiversity.

Expected results: The project will implement two participatory urban climate adaptation approaches in very different settings, with the following concrete outcomes:

  • In ZoHo: o 11 550 m2 of newly planted green infrastructure; o 10% reduction of nitrogen dioxide air pollution; o Placement of 100 (SMART) water barrels; o 800 m3 additional water storage capacity; o 20% reduction in reported sewage overflow events; o 0.5 degrees Celsius reduction of surface temperature; and o 250 people involved in climate adaptation strategies.
  • In the Nieuwe Maas: o 37 500 m2 innovative green borders in Nassauhaven and Mallegatpark; o A significant increase in biodiversity at the demonstration sites; o A significant improvement in water quality at the demonstration sites; o Improvements in public perception and engagement in the targeted areas; o 37 500 m2 reduction in hard river banks; and o Improved accessibility and use of riverside areas.


    Reference: LIFE14 CCA/NL/000302
    Start Date: 16/07/2015
    End Date: 31/12/2021
    Total Budget: 10,362,411 €
    EU Contribution: 2,767,982 €
    Project Location:


    Coordinating Beneficiary: Gemeente Rotterdam
    Legal Status: PAT
    Address: Coolsingel 40, 3011AD, Rotterdam, Nederland
    Contact Person: Helmi Hansma

    LIFE Project Map



    • Green infrastructure
    • Resilient communities
    • Public and Stakeholders participation


    • urban planning
    • coastal area
    • social participation
    • restoration measure
    • flood protection
    • river
    • climate adaptation strategy
    • ecosystem-based approach
    • heat island effect
    • sea level rise


    • Directive 2007/60 - Assessment and management of flood risks (23.10.2007)
    • COM(2013)216 - EU Strategy on adaptation to climate change (16.04.2013)


    Name Type
    Gemeente Rotterdam Coordinator
    WNF(Stichting Het Wereld Natuur Fonds-Nederland), Netherlands Participant
    RWS(Rijkswaterstaat), Netherlands Participant