Car parks and playgrounds to help make Rotterdam ‘climate proof’

The Dutch city is pioneering new ways of dealing with water as climate change brings with it heavier rains and rising tides
Rotterdam floods defences : The giant Maeslant surge barrier
 The giant Maeslant surge barrier that guards the entrance to Rotterdam, the largest port in Europe. Photograph: Kina Rob Doolaard/AFP/Getty Images

Windmills that feature in the landscapes painted by the Dutch old masters are a reminder that the low-landers of this nation are past masters at keeping the tide at bay.

Along with dykes, the first of which were built about 1,000 years ago, drainage mills have been effective at keeping water out of a land where 60% of its inhabitants live below sea level.

But new ways of dealing with water need to be found as climate change brings with it heavier rains and rising tides, said Arnoud Molenaar, manager of the Rotterdam climate-proof programme.

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