Sustainable Initiatives in Rotterdam

Sustainable Initiatives in Rotterdam

Resilient Rotterdam

Rotterdam is known throughout the world as a city that shows vision, courage, and perseverance; as a strong, assertive, and resilient city. In order to maintain this level of resilience in the future, we will factor in the opportunities and risks of new developments. Resilience is the new robust. Therefore, Rotterdam will do all that is within its power over the next few years to enhance the city’s resilience – to make absolutely sure that we are ready for the 21st century! Learn more

Luchtsingel (Air Canal)

Image: Dezeen

Rotterdam studio ZUS has what they describe as the “world’s first crowdfunded public infrastructure project” – a 400-metre-long pedestrian bridge in their home city. Named Luchtsingel, which means “air canal”, the structure runs through a building and across roads and railways to connect three previously disconnected areas of the city. “It has become a prototype for sustainable development,” explains Kristian Koreman, the other co-founder of ZUS.
Source: Dezeen (2015, 16 July)

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Rotterdam Sponge Garden

Image: De Havenloods

The Sponge Garden is an initiative of DE URBANISTEN (an organization for urban research, design and landscape based in Rotterdam), which previously was responsible for the first Waterplein (Water Square) in the Netherlands, which can be found in Rotterdam as well. Room has been created for collecting and retaining excess water and for returning the water in the event of drought. Preferably, this happens in the natural environment.
Source: Rotterdam Partners (2019, 19 July)

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Recycled Park

Image: Recycled Island Foundation

Recycled Park is a proposal to retrieve plastic from the river Nieuwe Maas just before it reaches the North Sea and becomes part of the plastic soup. The plastics are collected or ‘harvested’ from the river and quays and recycled into floating platforms and form a new green environment.
Source: World Economic Forum (2018, 30 July)

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Buurman Rotterdam

Image: Buurman Rotterdam

A wood workshop and shop for reclaimed building aiming to reuse urban resources locally. As an alternative to land filling, incineration or low quality reuse of ‘waste materials’, we give reclaimed materials a second life through our shops and workshops.
Source: Buurman Rotterdam (

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ZOHO Climate Proof District


Explore the climate adaptation in the ZOHO-district in Rotterdam. This exciting part of the city is bustling with activity and has a great urban mix of populations. A myriad of initiatives becomes more and more visible in the public realm of ZOHO. Meanwhile, the city council of Rotterdam has established its climate change adaptation strategy. The goal is to integrate climate-proofing into the physical structures of the city.

Source: ISSUU (2017, 31 January)

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The Rain Gain Project

Image: Rain Gain

This forward-looking project is a part of the European program “RainGain”. The City of Rotterdam partnered up with TU Delft and the Province of South Holland to install an advanced rain radar in the city centre. The radar monitors precipitation patterns with accuracy of 100 x 100 meters and enables the city to collect the rainwater more efficiently and guide it to sewers, water plazas and additional water storage facilities.
Source: RoboMG (

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Rebuild by Design

Image: Rebuild by Design

Rebuild by Design convenes a mix of sectors – including government, business, non-profit, and community organizations – to gain a better understanding of how overlapping environmental and human-made vulnerabilities leave cities and regions at risk. Rebuild’s core belief is that through collaboration our communities can grow stronger and better prepared to stand up to whatever challenges tomorrow brings.
Source: Rebuild by Design (

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The Port of Rotterdam

Image: Port of Rotterdam Authority

The Port of Rotterdam Authority is committed to combating climate change and wants to play a leading role in the global energy transition. The reduction of CO₂ emissions and efficient use of raw and residual materials are important tasks for the Port Authority.

Source: Port of Rotterdam

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Floating Farm

Image: Rotterdam Partners

The world’s first Floating Farm has opened in Rotterdam in the spring of 2018. Forty cows will graze on real grass and produce 1,200 litres of milk a day. The production will be circular, involving closed cycles of nutrients, energy and water in so far as is possible.

Source: Business Insider (2018, 24 September)

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The Dutch Windwheel

Image: Rotterdam Partners

The Dutch Windwheel is many things: an iconic building, tourist attraction, hotel, residence and energy generator. This game-changer for sustainable development is intended to showcase Dutch design and innovation on the international stage.
Source: Windwheel Corporation (

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