The story of Rotterdam
We live in an era in which we are experiencing negative effects of climate change. Our planet is warming up, leading to sea level rise and more extreme weather events in our cities. Cities worldwide will expand to 2.7 billion people by 2050. Hence, we have to change the way we plan our cities: we need to build resilient cities. Cities that have “the capacity of individuals, communities, institutions, businesses, and systems to survive, adapt, and grow no matter what kinds of chronic stresses and acute shocks they experience“ (definition by the 100 Resilient Cities network). If we do not change our urban planning system towards a more resilient approach, cities such as London, New York, and Shanghai may be flooded and will no longer be inhabitable.
Approximately 500 million people live in deltas. Deltas typically have very fertile land and are a gateway to overseas trade. As such, they are often pursued as one of the most prosperous places to live. Consequently, most of the population growth will take place in deltas. However, deltas are also some of the most vulnerable areas. They are threatened by both flooding and subsidence. That is why those areas are forced to change even more rapidly into resilient and livable areas.