Urban Governance and Social Innovation


An integral approach featuring blue-green roofs in Amsterdam


Over the next three years, Amsterdam plans to install 10,000 m2 of smart blue-green roofs on buildings owned by housing corporations. Because additional water can be stored under their green surface, these roofs provide the buildings they cover and their environment with more effective protection against extreme rainfall or draught and heat. As a partner in this project, AUAS is studying the impact of these blue-green roofs and attempting to learn what kinds of organisation and preconditions are needed to implement the blue-green roofs at a larger scale.


The Amsterdam Metropolitan Region is facing the major challenge of making the city more climate-resistant by facilitating an innovative network of blue-green roofs, the city hopes to take steps towards optimum water management in the future and to reduce the nuisance caused by excessive rainwater and heat.

Role of AUAS

AUAS is contributing to the project in several ways. Led by Professor Willem van Winden, researchers at the Centre of Expertise Urban Governance and Social Innovation are working to identify the organisation and preconditions needed to successfully realise and scale up blue-green roofs. Their efforts include an in-depth actor analyse to map out the various involved parties and their respective roles. This portion of the research will ultimately reveal possibilities for scaling up the roofs. We are also developing a cost-benefit analysis and studying the role of residents and their involvement, as well as the most effective way for us to involve residents in the realisation and scaling up of the blue-green roofs.

Led by Professor Jeroen Kluck, researchers at the CoE Urban Technology will study how the blue-green roofs are affecting the city. The potentially beneficial effects of blue-green roofs on heat stress, liveability, drainage and air purity are being studied with great interest, especially now that our project group is installing blue-green roofs on multiple adjoining buildings.

Why blue-green roofs?

The advantage of blue-green roofs over green roofs is that they can store a great deal more water and therefore continue to release evaporation longer during hot, dry periods. This in turn, keeps temperatures cooler in the homes and the surrounding neighbourhood. The roofs also allow for more different kinds of plants, which increases biodiversity. What makes this pilot innovative is the smart system with sensors that enables the roof to retain or shed water based on weather forecasts. These smart roofs are being connected in a network, effectively creating a new type of water management at the neighbourhood and building level. The installation process involves integral cooperation with various 'public and private parties, as well as involvement from 1,500 residents of the four neighbourhoods involved.

Amsterdam neighbourhoods

Some 10,000 m2 of smart blue-green roofs will be installed in four neighbourhoods in Amsterdam: the Bellamybuurt, Geuzenveld, Oosterpark and Kattenburg neighbourhoods. The locations were selected because these neighbourhoods have a heightened risk of flooding and damage in the event of extreme rainfall, and because they were home to a sufficient number of suitable roofs atop buildings owned by housing corporations that were due for replacement anyway.

Collaborative partners

RESILIO stands for ‘Resilience nEtwork of Smart Innovative cLImate-adapative rOoftops’ and is a collaborative partnership between the City of Amsterdam, Waternet, Polderdak, Rooftop Revolution, AUAS, VU University Amsterdam, Stadgenoot, De Key and Consolidated. Funding for the RESILIO project comes from the European Union's Urban Innovative Actions (UIA) programme. Each year, the UIA programme offer grants to support innovative pilot projects on a wide variety of themes.

15 December 2021

Project Info

Start date 01 Nov 2018
End date 31 Mar 2022