About the City of Antwerp


Kingdom of Belgium


511,716 (city), the metropolitan area counts around 1,000,000 people

Social composition:

Sex: 49,7% man,
Age: 22 % are between 0 and 17 years; 32% are between 18 and 39; 30% is between 40 and 64; 17 % is older
Nationality: 80% = having the Belgian nationality
Net Income ( based upon fiscal data):
<10K EUR= 17,7 %
>50K= 8,8%

Geographical features:

Maritime Temperate

Hazards & Vulnerabilities

Local climate hazards:

Th city of Antwerp suffered from the following climate hazards:


Local Vulnerabilities and main expected climate change impact:

The large share of impermeable surfaces induces a strong urban heat island, and makes the city vulnerable to pluvial flooding and river floods, which are all expected to increase under climate change.

Coping Mechanisms/ Adaptation measures

What is done on a political level?

The current Climate Plan (2011)  does not include an adaptation strategy but the actualization is foreseen in 2013-2014. There is a Sigma Plan (2005) to protect the Scheldt region from flooding and which includes the rise of the quay-structure in the inner city. The execution of the first phase of the construction works in the city is scheduled for the next years. A review of the Sigma Plan may be expected.

What adaptation measure is in place (physically)?

The following measures are applicable. The current Building Code imposes green roofs and a degree of permeability of gardens. The Code is currently under review. The ‘Ecohouse’ of Antwerp promotes ‘Vertical gardens’ and ‘Roof top gardens’. In some new mayor urban development plans as ‘Nieuw Zuid’ and ‘Bluegate’, the rainwater run-off is minimized through buffering and infiltration in a green landscaping design.

What are the major adaptation needs?

Due to floods, caused by heavy rains, river and (super)storms: an overview and a flexible integrated strategy on all water related challenges, with special attention to sustainable solutions for the Schijn river, for the run-off in the low areas and highly impermeabilized city centre, and the coping capacity of the city to deal with (super)-storms and mayor floods.
Due to heat islands: increasing the number of “ blue green elements in the  city infrastructure.

Other important feature relevant for climate change adaptation

The Antwerp area is highly atmospherically polluted, the main cause being the very dense traffic (including heavy traffic to/from the harbour). The possible future challenges according to future drinking water scarcity should be investigated.

Europe The work leading to these results has received funding from the European Community's Seventh Framework Programme under Grant Agreement No. 308497
Project RAMSES - Reconciling Adaptation, Mitigation and Sustainable Development for Cities.