City Profiles

Nijmegen - Netherlands

Main motivation for taking adaptation action

Nijmegen is taking action on adaptation to improve the town's spatial quality and make it more resilient in the face of climate change. By doing so, Nijmegen also hopes to improve the quality of life of its citizens as well as the town's public and private spaces.

Adaptation strategy

Have you already developed an adaptation strategy?
We (will) integrate adaptation into existing relevant plans
Summary of the strategy/plan
Nijmegen has developed a series of Water and Sewer Plans that deal with the vision, maintenance and replacement of the water and sewer infrastructure. These plans also aim to manage storm and sewer water and avoid ground water nuisances. Nijmegen is streamlining climate change adaptation by incorporating such adaptation-related activities into pre-existing municipal policies.

Planned adaptation actions

Storm water and heavy rainfall has been a hot topic in Nijmegen for 15 years and after years of investigations and modeling, the town is now taking action to decrease flooding. The national Room for the River project in Nijmegen (described below), which will expand the River Waal by 450 meters, is almost complete. In addition, the town is also taking measures to deal with potential heat stress by reducing the amount of paved surfaces, and improving rainwater runoff in the city centre by constructing green roofs, new parks, green walls, and other green structures.

Good practice / spotlight item

Room for the River Waal
In an effort to prevent flooding, the Dutch Government is carrying out the Room for the River programme with 30 projects alongside the main rivers throughout the country. The biggest project is being conducted at the river Waal near Nijmegen, which not only has a sharp bend there, but also forms a bottleneck. The project in Nijmegen involves moving the Waal dike in Nijmegen-Lent over 450 metres from its original location and constructing an ancillary channel in the flood plains. This will create an island in the river and a unique urban river park with lots of possibilities for recreation, cultural activities, water and nature. It is anticipated that this project will reduce the level of high water by 35 cm. More information, including a video, can be found here.
What sectors are concerned
  • Urban
  • Water management
  • Disaster Risk Reduction
A rendition of the relocation of the Nijmegen dike.

Climate change impacts

  • Extreme Temperatures
  • Droughts
  • Flooding
  • Storms

Key vulnerable sectors

  • Urban
  • Buildings
  • Biodiversity
  • Energy
  • Health
  • Water Management
  • Transport


H.M.F. Bruls


170000 inhabitants

Contact person

Ton Verhoeven
Policy Advisor, Sustainability


Mayors Adapt signatory

Date of officially joining Mayors Adapt

Nov 18, 2014

Last Update

Jun 11, 2018

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