After attending Delft University of Technology, graduating in Civil Engineering, I have been working in the energetic city of Rotterdam from 1997 up till now. In several occupations I contributed to the city's development varying from advisor in watermanagement at the Public Works department, strategic advisor to the executive board of the city on public space and advisor on climate change adaptation and city resilience. Between 2010 and 2018, I have been intensively working on the Rotterdam climate adaptation strategy and Rotterdam resilience strategy.
Connecting policy development and research always has been a focus of Rotterdam. Cooperation between the city and research institutes within and outside Rotterdam has therefore been tight. During the development of our city resilience strategy the 4TU Resilience Engineering program came into being. Rotterdam embraced this as a new opportunity to couple the broad reservoir of knowledge on very different research fields within the 4 universities with the aim of making Rotterdam a resilient city.
For the current societal challenges, an integrated and inclusive view and approach is needed very strongly. The complexity of the society and of the city within it asks for another way of working and policy development. An integrated approach, combining bottom-up and top-down initiatives and plans and using all kinds of resources are needed to prepare for the ‘good future’ of cities.
In the 4TU Resilience Engineering initiative, we see that connection between disciplines and an integrated approach of societal and engineering questions is the starting point. In this way, it has the same aim for approach as Rotterdam has for the policy making process and our activities can support each other. Even stronger, cities need a tight connection with the research world to develop effective policies for a resilient city. I think the 4TU Resilience Engineering program will contribute to the same in Rotterdam.