The city of Amsterdam, a member of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group and the global network ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, is experiencing the effects of climate change. The city is at risk of flashfloods due to heavy rainfall, higher temperatures, and droughts. To combat this, Amsterdam launched the RESILIO project in 2018 with financial support from the EU’s Urban Innovative Actions initiative, which focuses on repurposing the rooftops of climate vulnerable neighborhoods in the city.
The project will install 10,000 m2 of innovative smart blue-green roofs with enhanced water retention technology, including 8,000 m2 installed on social housing rooftops. These roofs will increase the rainwater resilience of the city and reduce the urban heat effect and energy consumption at the building level. Additionally, RESILIO will enable residents who do not own a house to benefit from these smart roofs.
The rooftops can store excess rainwater underneath the green layer of plants and are equipped with smart flow control technology, connected in a network that enables communication with each other. This allows them to anticipate changing weather conditions, retaining or releasing water in response. In addition to the water retention benefits, the roofs provide space for new nature.
The RESILIO project works closely with private roof owners as well as the housing corporations that own and manage the roofs in the housing estates. As biodiversity is important to citizens, the city has engaged people on the project’s social and environmental benefits. RESILIO aims for targeted communication by identifying the characteristics of the beneficiaries and created so called Persona’s. This allows the project to tailor the messages to attract attention. For example, RESILIO uses personal stories in the “Humans of New York” style – this storytelling approach helps people relate to the roofs through a human dimension rather than through science alone.
Photo source: RESILIO Amsterdam https://www.uia-initiative.eu/fr/news/resilios-first-research-roof-has-opened