Hotspot Rotterdam region

The city of Rotterdam, the Port of Rotterdam and the surrounding region will receive investments of an amount totalling more than 10 billion euros in spatial development and industry over the next ten years. These large investments will focus on further industrial development, increased port capacity, improved accessibility, urbanisation of the old port area and further urban development along the river. Many investments will be made to improve the quality of life in the region, which provides opportunities to also incorporate water and climate issues.

Rotterdam would like to become more attractive to middle and high income earners. It also wants to create a more attractive investment climate, not just for international and new companies, but also for the inhabitants of the city. This can be achieved through investment in attractive urban areas along the river and through the transformation of the old industrial and port areas. However, these areas are also vulnerable to climate change and sea level rise.

Climate change is particularly important in this region due to:

    • Changes in the risk of and the effects of flooding from the sea and the river and the influence these can have on the port and urban areas
    • Changes in river drainage and water level systems and their influence on the transport link with the rest of the country
    • Changes in climate related conditions, constraints and processes which have an effect on living, working and recreation in urban areas

Rotterdam decided that it is very important to incorporate climate change properly into spatial planning, to ensure that new investments made in the port and housing are climate proof.

The objective of the projects for this Hotspot were to make the area both climate proof and as attractive as possible for living and working, with particular attention to the port, transport and housing.

There were projects concerning water safety, transport over water and urban development. Other projects investigated the relationship between the Rotterdam programme line, other hotspots, areas upstream and international ports.

Midterm Assessment 2012 (webpage)
Midterm Review Report: Sonja Döpp (Knowledge for Climate), Arnoud Molenaar and Chantal Oudkerk Pool (City of Rotterdam) (2012). Hotspot Rotterdam Region, Midterm Assessment 2012, KfC report number 67/2012. Annex Factsheets second tranche projects and cases.

Projects and Publications
List with all Rotterdam region publications.

Read more about HSRR01

HSRR01: Urban development - Urban water systems
The possible challenges concerning climate change and urban development formed an incentive to develop adaptation strategies for the design and management of future urban water systems in the Rotterdam region. The relatively big city of Rotterdam is located in a highly populated river delta. Because of uncertainties in the consequences of climate change on the urban water system... read more

Read more about HSRR02

HSRR02: Flood risk in unembanked areas
Climate change (sea level rise and changing river discharge) has an effect on the flood risk in the region of Rotterdam in the protected as well as the unprotected areas. Within this project, the unprotected areas located within the Hotspot area were investigated... read more

Read more about HSRR03

HSRR03b: Closing the open Rijnmond - waterfront Rijnmond
Policy measures are needed to keep the flood risk in the Hotspot region within the flood standards during the next century. One of the possible measures is to reinforce the dykes. Especially in urban areas the reinforcement of dykes can be socially undesirable and lead to high costs. It was investigated if it was possible to replace dyke reinforcements with strategically placed moveable high water barriers... read more

Read more about HSHL05/HSRR04

HSHL05/HSRR04: Region specific climate information for Haaglanden and Rotterdam
The goal of this project was to make climate data and information about the current and future climate specific for the regions Haaglanden and Rotterdam. The focus was on climate effects which concerned users in the area. Potentially affected users have been identified, as well as their dependency on climate... read more

Read more about HSRR05

HSRR05: Heat stress in the city of Rotterdam
Heat stress is a serious and still underestimated problem. The heat wave during the summer of 2003, for example, caused 1.400 – 2.200 heat related deaths in The Netherlands. Rotterdam aims to reduce the Urban Heat Island effect and sees heat stress and its consequences as a component of adapting to climate change. In this project the Urban Heat Island effect... read more

Read more about HSRR06

HSRR06: Safe and multifunctional urban levees
Climate change and the resulting rise of water levels makes large scale measures necessary. Especially in urban areas, the traditional strengthening of the present flood protection systems would lead to an undesired situation. The use of space for flood protection alone doesn’t match with the densification of urban area. The question was how to shape the main flood protection in such a manner that it would not just... read more

Read more about HSRR07/HSGR08

HSRR07/HSGR08: Relationship between perceived flood risks, problem ownership and household and business adaptation choices
The project focused on climate-related flood safety issues in a spatial planning context. It investigated the relationship between flood risk perception, problem ownership and household and business adaptation choices. The aim was to provide policymakers... read more

Read more about HSRR08

HSRR08: Consequences of climate change for inland shipping
For a large part the competitive position of the inland waterway transport sector is determined by price and reliability. These could be placed under pressure due to the effects of climate change. That might result in loss of cargo to other modes of transport, and thus might impact the portion in the modal split. An increase in costs and a less reliable inland waterway transport also has... read more

Read more about HSRR09

HSRR09: Adaptive strategies for the urban floodplain of Hotspot Rotterdam
The municipality of Rotterdam has the ambition to transform existing and new unembanked areas to intensively used areas for living and working. To maintain the security, sustainability and attractiveness of these areas it was necessary to gain insight in adaptive development strategies. The adaptive measures can be found on... read more

HSRR3.1 HSRR3.1: Adaptive strategies for the Rotterdam unembanked area
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 aim of this research was to develop and evaluate adaptive strategies and measures for existing and new residential areas located outside the primary water defences in the Rijnmond – Drechtsteden region... read more
HSRR3.2 HSRR3.2: Eco-adaptation in the urban delta
This project investigated how Delta cities like the city of Rotterdam could make optimal use of ecosystem services, functions in water management and (adaptive) building to adapt to climate change. This included water, nature, heat-stress, and landuse pressures. It also showed how Green Adaptation measures could be effectively implemented in, or combined with... read more
HSRR3.7: Valorisation of adaptation knowledge for sustainable delta cities
This research showed that the government has an important role to create new opportunities based on the knowledge gained on climate-proof cities. In addition to the dissemination of knowledge, governments can offer room for experimentation with new solutions while using procurement to demand strict criteria for the realisation of projects in the public space and buildings owned by the government... read more
HSRR3.10: Governance of local adaptation in Feijenoord
The project investigated how Delta cities like the city of Rotterdam could make optimal use of ecosystem services and functions in water management and (adaptive) building to adapt to climate change. Previously developed ideas were applied in a part of Rotterdam called Feijenoord... read more