Adaptive strategies for the Rotterdam unembanked area (HSRR3.1)

A significant part of the Rotterdam urban area is not protected by the primary levee system. Due to climate change and urbanisation of the former port areas the vulnerability of this area to flooding is increasing. The question was whether small-scale adaptive measures in public space or water-proof architecture can contribute to reducing the vulnerability of these flood prone areas.

The aim of this research was to develop more knowledge on and to evaluate adaptive strategies and measures for existing and newly developed residential areas located outside the primary water defences in the Rijnmond – Drechtsteden region.

The research focused on two cases in the unembanked area of Rotterdam, namely Noordereiland and Feijenoord. In the first part of the research a detailed analysis of local floods and an assessment of the effects and impacts were conducted. Based on a policy framework and an adaptation tipping point analysis (ATP) the water levels were defined at which a flood event is not regarded as acceptable anymore. These tipping points provided input for the design research.

The ATP method also proved to be an effective method to investigate which combinations of adaptive measures are able to deal with different possible climate scenarios and to define the points in time when it is wise to switch to a different measure. This has provided much insight into the long-term feasibility of adaptive flood risk strategies.

Download the final report. See other HSRR3.1 publications.