Urban development - Urban water systems (HSRR01)

The goal of this research was to draft a future research agenda and an assessment framework for the development of a climate adaptive urban water system in Rotterdam. Stakeholders can use the agenda and the assessment framework to develop adaptive strategies and measures for the urban water system.

Key research questions were:

    1. What is the physical impact of climate change on the operation and maintenance of surface water, groundwater and sewer systems? Which adaptation strategies are both acceptable and efficient?
    2. How do the stakeholders view the pressures of climate change on the urban water system and how can they contribute to creating a climate adaptive water system?
    3. What innovative technologies for measurement, monitoring, modelling and data analysis are necessary for a better understanding of the impact of climate change? How can these technologies help to monitor climate change and develop a climate adaptive water system?
    4. What assessment framework is useful to create a climate adaptive water system?

The findings of the research lead to the following suggestions for Rotterdam’s adaptation strategy:

    • Use an integral approach: climate adaptive water management = climate adaptive area development.
    • Custom made plans: development of a vision demands area-specific considerations.
    • Climate adaptive monitoring, modelling and analysis: use new parameters and models which consider the resilience and adaptive capacity of the water system, next to more traditional parameters and ways of modelling.
    • Learning by experience: organize structured learning from previous experiences and learning-by-doing in action oriented pilots.
    • Visualise climate effects: design adjustments in a way that makes citizens and users of the city notice climate change.
    • Involvement: more awareness of climate change as well as an enlarged adaptive capacity is promoted by the involvement of parties in the creation of a climate adaptive urban water system.