Based on a case study of the Stadshaven port redevelopment in Rotterdam, this paper explores whether existing spatial planning mechanisms and processes can be used to facilitate local-level investment in climate-resilient public infrastructure and/or whether new processes and mechanisms are required to encourage investment in climate adaptation. The study reveals several key findings. First, a lack of conventional funding sources or formalised regulatory framework allowed room for experimentation with existing mechanisms and flexible strategies. Second, project planners are currently ambivalent towards introducing new mechanisms as a means to overcome implementation challenges. The case provides evidence about the role of the governance process, not simply as a means of system coordination that exists in isolation from institutional norms and values, but rather as a space for innovation, which can contribute towards reducing the financial gap associated with climate adaptation.