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Sound and independent information
on the environment

Designing the future

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  • An expanding population and rising water levels have forced the city of Amsterdam to be creative. Rather than simply strengthening flood defences, some architects, planners and engineers are experimenting with novel types of architecture on the water itself. © Image: EEA Click to view full-size image… 1.3 MB
  • IJburg, an Amsterdam suburb, is being designed and built as a floating community by Dutch construction company Dura Vermeer. The new houses are ‘docked’ to floating walkways and hooked up to electrical, water and sanitation services. They can easily be disconnected and moved somewhere else. © Image: EEA Click to view full-size image… 5.4 MB
  • “The future will turn out different than we expect. It’s not possible to predict exactly how high the water will rise in the Netherlands. But a floating community is flexible. The homes will simply rise and fall with the water.” Johan van der Pol, deputy director of Dura Vermeer © Image: EEA Click to view full-size image… 644.6 KB
  • Eco-friendly floating greenhouses combine two functions in the same square metre: fruit and vegetables grow and fresh water is stored. © Image: EEA Click to view full-size image… 4.8 MB
  • The floating town is designed to cope with extremes of rising and falling water levels but it also offers a better quality of life — life beside or on the water is very good here. © Image: EEA Click to view full-size image… 2.7 MB
  • The impacts of climate change in Europe range from flooding to drought and heatwaves, and different urban areas face different challenges. So far only a few cities have developed strategies for adapting to the ‘new’ conditions. © Image: EEA Click to view full-size image… 5.2 MB
  • It’s vital that we move from pockets of innovation in urban areas to innovative cities. Their high population density means that urban areas lend themselves to sustainability. With the right planning and management, cities could become the ecological frontrunners of the future. © Image: EEA Click to view full-size image… 3.3 MB

Geographic coverage

North Holland, Netherlands
European Environment Agency (EEA)
Kongens Nytorv 6
1050 Copenhagen K
Phone: +45 3336 7100