No city in the world takes climate change and sea-level rise more seriously than Rotterdam. The great port is entwined by the channels of the Maas, Schie and Rotte rivers, which are part of the of the vast delta fed by the Rhine draining Germany, and the Meuse, draining out of France. And it stares directly out at the North Sea from the part of the country known as the Southern Lowlands. As larger cargo vessels abandon a wealth of old shipyards and warehouses in the town to move to bigger docks downstream, redevelopment plans for the huge old port focus on building on the water, managing it and living with it as part of a climate-proofing master plan.

Photo: Tom Sawyer / ENR