Arnoud Molenaar is Chief Resilience Officer at the City of Rotterdam, Manager Rotterdam Climate Proof and Programme Advisory Committee (PAC) Member for AIWW.

In June 2016 Molenaar has been appointed as knowledge ambassador for the City of Rotterdam. Under his leadership, in 2017 the Global Center on Climate Adaptation (GCA) was launched in Rotterdam.

Q: Given the economic significance of cities, and their role as homes for citizens, what do you see as the role of city leaders in drawing attention to and driving action on climate change?

“It is important that city leaders at relevant occasions address the urgency for climate resilience ànd at the same time show the possibilities to act and how to use adaptation as lever to create a better and more resilient city.”

Q: In order to drive action, how important is it to look beyond threats and harness these in a positive course of action? How can this be achieved?

By developing a long term holistic vision for their city, including short term action plans and starting with implementation of no regret measures, like depaving, green roofs and redesigning public areas. By doing so city leaders can show that ‘resilience by design’ creates multiple benefits for cities, regarding water ánd social resilience.

Q: As a city showing climate leadership, what are the next steps in the agenda for Rotterdam?

“That’s two fold: first working with citizens on small scale solutions and second by connecting water resilience to the other transitions that the city has to deal with, like the energy transition and rapid growth of the city. For example now one of Rotterdam’s ambitions is the develop a multiple benefit rooftop landscape where measures related to these challenges are integrated.”

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