First 100 RC International Water Exchange Workshops
The first International Water Exchange Workshop was held in the city of Rotterdam in the beginning of October. During a four day session regarding complex water related issues and climate challenges, nine different members of the 100 Resilient Cities network actively participated and exchanged their knowledge and experience. The Rockefeller Foundation picked Rotterdam to organise this session, due to its role as one of the world leading cities regarding water management, climate adaptation and resilience.
Experience from all over the world:
The Rotterdam Chief Resilience Officer (CRO) Arnoud Molenaar points out the importance of international collaboration and experience exchange: “Half of the worlds population lives in still expanding cities, leading to intense climate and water related challenges. Solutions for these challenges can be found in Rotterdam, still we need the knowledge and experience from other cities to gain new insights to make our cities more resilient.” In order to exchange and share this knowledge, Rotterdam invited eight other Resilient Cities: Bangkok (Thailand), Berkely (USA), Mexico City (Mexico), New Orleans (USA), Norfolk (USA), Rome (Italy), Surat (India) and Vejle (Denmark).
No regret measures in practice:
As stated, within Rotterdam multiple no regret measures are already taken to adapt towards climate change and to create a resilient city. A glance of this measures are the watersquare Benthemplein, the green rooftops Dakakkers and the underground water storage in a parking garage. From all over the world international delegations come to visit these locations and learn from dealing with the challenges of Rotterdam. Therefore the Water Exchange session started with an interesting tour through the city of Rotterdam.
Deep Dive Workshops:
In order to create the crucial interaction with the partner cities an intensive workshop session was organised by RDC. The goal of these sessions was to illustrate the most urgent threats the different cities face in order to come up with feasible solutions or possible opportunities to deal with the challenges. Where the international CRO’s explained their challenges, the Dutch experts came with experience and best practices to support the CRO’s in this matter. Often out of the box thinking led to a paradigm shift regarding looking at the challenges; as example floods caused by storm events can also create the sense of urgency to start creating a resilient city.
The Rockefeller Foundation supports 100 cities worldwide with knowledge, advisers and other means in order to create resilient and future proof cities. Each of these cities has a Chief Resilience Officer, whom is responsible for the coordination of this task. Within this 100 RC network, the CRO’s exchange their experience and support each other to obtain the goal. For Rotterdam the challenges concern water and climate, cyber and big data, energy and port, vital infrastructure, social resilience and the changing role of governance.
Rotterdam Centre for Resilient Delta Cities:
To transform all these challenges of various topics into opportunities, regional parties formed a public private partnership. Within this partnership several world leading companies and knowledge institutes participate. The experts of RDC also participated and shared their knowledge at the Deep Dive Workshops. The experts strongly believe that supporting other cities by sharing experience, will help creating the so desired resilient cities.