EventsRedesigning Cities – Adapting to Climate Change

Redesigning Cities – Adapting to Climate Change

Anne Loes Nillesen

Defacto Urbanism, Rotterdam

Event from
30 November



Anne Loes will show how climate change effects cities and landscapes, and what can be done to adapt to these new future conditions. When we look at long term climate scenario’s we see that the sea level is raising and rain events become more extreme, while rivers dry up and in many places land is subsiding. What does this mean for the cities we live in?
Especially Delta regions, that used to have the most favourable conditions for urbanisation, ecology and harbour economy, will have to adapt to remain qualitative and vital places to live. What will the cities of the future look like, and why is it so important to already start this change now? Based on international best practises and inspiring examples from the Netherlands, the USA, Bangladesh, Vietnam, and Rwanda, Anne Loes will show how cities and landscapes can and must adapt and transform in time.
She will show integral design strategies in which urban designers, engineers, ecologists and economists work together to address the complex challenges and uncertainty that climate change brings. The examples demonstrate how pro-active climate adaptation strategies cannot just be a necessity, but can become a powerful opportunity to strengthen and improve the ecology, sustainability and liveability of cities.

Anne Loes Nillesen

Anne Loes Nillesen is founding director of Defacto Urbanism. She worked on complex, large-scale urban design, mobility and climate adaptation assignments and long-term perspectives, such as the Dutch Delta Programme and Bangladesh Delta Plan, Resilience by Design – Metropolitan Area Amsterdam, and several regional and local scale adaptation projects. She currently works on the Climate Adaptation Strategy for Rotterdam, the Advisory brief for soil and water for the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management and several regional strategies for soil and water as guiding principle.

In addition to running Defacto, Anne Loes Nillesen is professor Urban Design at the Delft University of Technology, where she founded the Climate Adaptation Lab and Delta Interventions integral MSc graduate studios, Faculty of Architecture. Her PhD research investigated the relation between urban design and flood risk strategies. She graduated with honors as an Architect and Urban designer from TU Delft and undertook postgraduate studies in Landscape Architecture and Urbanism at the Berlage Institute in Rotterdam. She published books such as ‘Amphibious Housing in the Netherlands’ and ‘Delta Interventions: Design and Engineering in Urban Water Landscapes’, and developed the ‘Climate Adaptation Game’, a multi-player board game.




Defacto specializes in urban research and design, integrating different topics such as climate adaptation, water and flood risk management, ecology, mobility, and energy transition and was founded in 2006.

They work on a wide range of projects related to urban development and landscape design, such as integrated regional development and planning strategies, urban and landscape design projects, and research by design projects. They connect design to research and have their expertise in the following domains: flood risk, mobility and transport, climate adaptation, nature-based solutions, ecology and green cities, circular economy, sustainability and cultural heritage.

Defacto works on projects for various national and international governmental bodies as well as NGO’s.

Photos lecture: © Astrid Ecker
Climate forest metropolitan region of Amsterdam © Defacto Urbanism
New city landscape © Defacto Urbanism
New polder landscape © Defacto Urbanism