The relationship between the design of the flood protection infrastructure and the design of the urbanscape is the focus of this paper, and asks the question how these two types of design can consciously affect each other? The text presents the preliminary result of an interdisciplinary research conducted by a team of urban designers and hydraulic engineers on two pilot projects of coastal adaptation to extreme sea level rise on the North Sea: Vlissingen (NL) and Southend-on-Sea (UK). Spatial measures to accept the flood, land use change, water-proof housing developments, and the use of nature-based solutions are described in relation to the urban fabric. The aim is to discuss models of flood risk reduction which are alternatives to the more conventional coastal flood protection strategies. A different “designer” way of thinking and great effort to describe and analyse the two cases have been utilised to enlighten the spatial qualities of the urban form and its long-term adaptability.