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The Merwe-Vierhaven area (M4H) is an old port site of approximately 100 hectares to the north of the Nieuwe Maas. It was once one of the largest fruit ports in the world, where storage and handling of various types of fruit took place daily. The port is now expanding into a new residential and working area. A wide range of businesses has been established in the area.

Merwe-Vierhaven area from the air with the Juice terminal in the foreground
Photo: Aeroview - Dick Sellenraad

The recommended adaptation strategy for this area combines measures from the sub-strategies 'keeping the water out' and 'living with water' in order to manage flood risk. The diagram illustrates this, with the option 'living with water' in dark green, and in light green 'keeping the water out'. The arrows in the area show the evacuation routes.

Map of the Merwe-Vierhaven area on water safety. Arrows visualise the evacuation routes


The main option for the dyke zones and the central area is 'keeping the water out'. The challenge in this zone lies in integrating dyke reinforcement into the urban-planning set-up. Raising the ground level is not an option in locations containing buildings with monumental or landmark status or that are capital-intensive, and wet/dry proofing of the built structures is proposed. By constructing the planned raised regional cycle path at a level of 3.9 metres, this area will remain accessible even during floods. The bridge to Dakpark provides an evacuation route.


The main choice for the piers is the theme 'living with water'. The roads linking the piers to the dyke zones are constructed elevated with a view to evacuation and accessibility. The existing buildings on the piers must be made water-resistant, and the new developments constructed so as to manage flood risk. Wet proofing can be opted for, provided that the functions on the ground floor or basement are not vulnerable to flood damage. With respect to new developments, the proposal is for raising awareness of flood risk among the developers through communication, so that this can be incorporated in developing the area.


The port of Rotterdam aspires to be the safest and most efficient port in the world, and is working on this ambition constantly. This requires close cooperation, to promote which the port undertakes various activities.