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From Nijmegen to Portland and Back

25 Aug

If you have ever witnessed a man in a kilt and a Dart Vader mask playing the bagpipes on a unicycle, you’ve most probably been to Portland, OR.

The city I’d never thought I would visit, I did not want to leave.

My story begins in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. On a sunny day in August 2011 I met my interdisciplinary think-thank for the first time to work on the project Urban Regions in the Deltas.  Together with folks from the Netherlands,  the USA, Germany, Sweden and Indonesia, I examined wicket problem and frameworks for sustainable development in urban delta regions. To finalize the project,  I was sent for one week to Portland in April 2012 by Radboud Honours Academy.

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Delta cities – adaptation to rapid change

28 Mar

Not until recently I became discovering the myriad problems which delta cities experience. Being part of international think thank dealing with wicked problems* in urban delta areas, I encountered many challenges for water management, urban planning, economy, heath, culture and politics.

Delta cities are centers for growing population and they are especially vulnerable to rising of water sea levels due to climate change. Consequently, millions of people are exposed to the risk of extreme floods and storms.

Despite the numerous attempts of humankind to tame nature, it is now time to think differently, share knowledge and embrace adaptation approach to deal with the rapid changes in urban delta areas. The two videos present the problems of delta cities and the importance of adaptation.

 

*wicked problems –  problems so complex that any solution leads to new issues because of complex feedback effects, where even the best option cannot ultimately resolve the problem, but will expose further issues requiring attention.