90% of all large cities are located near water. With rising sea levels threatening many cities around the world one city is turning this threat into an opportunity. Rotterdam is pioneering the way forwards in building on water. Not only does it provide additional space in the dense city but it also provides the city with an opportunity to reduce its ecological footprint when combined with urban agriculture.
Floating dairy farm in Rotterdam
Beladon, a company specializing in building on water, is developing a floating dairy farm that will be home to around 40 cows grazing on their own field. City residents will not only be able to view the cows on guided tours but also be able to buy dairy products including milk and yoghurt. To reduce the site’s impact on the local environment fertilizer and urine will be recovered to create by-products. Finally, educational programs will be developed to educate people on sustainability and agriculture.
Cities can turn climate change threats into opportunities that enhance urban landscapes and living.
*Robert C. Brears is the author of Urban Water Security (Wiley). Urban Water Security argues that, with climate change and rapid urbanization, cities need to transition from supply-side to demand-side management to achieve urban water security.