Top 20 Cities with Billions at Risk from Climate Change

By Eric Roston - 2012-07-06T03:32:54Z

Photograph by James P. Blair/National Geographic Stock

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#15 Rotterdam, The Netherlands

<strong>2005 assets at risk:</strong> $114.9 billion
<strong>2070 est. assets at risk:</strong> $825.7 billion
<strong>2005 population at risk:</strong> 732,000
<strong>2070 est. population at risk: </strong>1.4 million

The Netherlands has sea-level sensitivity built into its name, which means "lower lands." This advanced, densely populated nation is among the world's leading innovators in flood protection because it is so vulnerable historically.

Rotterdam, 40 miles from the country's North Sea coast, faces increased flood risk even before climate change is factored in. In the last 50 years, development has increased risk by a factor of seven, according to the Rotterdam Climate Initiative.

The boldly named Rotterdam Climate Proof program expects that by 2025, reinforced flood protections, alternative architecture and city planning and upgraded water and sanitation infrastructure will hedge the city's climate-change risks.

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