Visit Rotterdam as It Transforms into a Floating City

By Ivan PetrenkoMay 24, 2024 16:30 PMNews
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White ship near bridge in Rotterdam
White ship near bridge in Rotterdam. Source: unsplash

Rotterdam, a flood-prone Dutch city renowned for its innovative architecture, is embracing the challenges of rising sea levels with a transformative approach. Located in one of the world's largest ports, Rotterdam faces the North Sea and is intersected by major rivers, making it highly susceptible to flooding. In response, the city has adopted groundbreaking architectural solutions and urban planning strategies to combat the effects of climate change.

A City Built to Combat Flooding

Following the catastrophic 1953 deluge that claimed nearly 2,000 lives, the Dutch government initiated the Delta Programme, constructing dams, dikes, and advanced storm barriers. This initiative has evolved to include modern flood management techniques like catchment areas mimicking natural floodplains and "green dikes" with water-absorbent materials. Rotterdam has taken these national efforts further, integrating creative urban projects to manage water overflows, reduce heat stress, and enhance urban mobility.

Exploring Rotterdam's Floating Innovations

Floating Farm

  • Location: Port of Rotterdam
  • Experience: Visit the world's first floating farm, home to 40 Meuse-Rhine-Issel cows. This micro-dairy produces milk, yogurt, butter, and cheese, all processed on-site. The farm utilizes solar panels for energy and rainwater purification for the cows. Visitors can tour the farm and purchase fresh dairy products.
  • Operating Hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Wikkelboats

  • Location: Rijnhaven and Wijnhaven harbors
  • Experience: Stay in a solar-powered, sustainably made houseboat constructed from layers of corrugated cardboard. These boutique accommodations offer amenities like kitchenettes, outdoor jacuzzis, and water toy rentals. Wikkelboats provide a unique and eco-friendly lodging option.
  • Additional Locations: Den Bosch

Floating Office Rotterdam (FOR)

  • Location: Rijnhaven
  • Experience: This carbon-negative and energy-positive three-story building houses offices and the upscale restaurant Putaine. Visitors can enjoy a meal in the restaurant, which features seasonal vegetarian dishes and natural wines. The building's sustainable design includes solar panels, rainwater-absorbing grass, and a harbor water heating/cooling system.
  • Events: Part of Rotterdam Architecture Month's Open Office Day in June

Harbourlofts

  • Location: Nassauhaven
  • Experience: Explore 18 carbon-neutral floating villas equipped with solar panels, water purification systems, and biomass installations. These off-the-grid homes offer eco-friendly living with access to e-charging stations and shared e-cars and e-bikes. The villas are anchored on concrete pontoons and overlook a nature-friendly tidal park.
  • Tour: De Rotterdam Tours offers a guided floating city tour, including visits to a floating villa, FOR, and a wikkelboat. The tour costs $527 per group, plus $8 per person for a water taxi.

Embrace Rotterdam’s Floating Future

Rotterdam's innovative approach to climate resilience offers a unique travel experience, combining cutting-edge architecture with sustainable living. As the city continues to adapt to rising sea levels, visitors can witness firsthand the remarkable transformations making Rotterdam a model for other flood-prone cities worldwide.

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