As climate change and urbanisation take hold, countries all over the world must focus on improving their climate and water resilience to deliver long-term benefits to society and economy. In enhancing resilience at local and global scale, holistic visions are needed to create the Smart Places of the future. This can be achieved by enabling changes to processes, practices, systems and structures that combine infrastructural measures and water management with risk mapping, (master)planning, strategies, forecasting, warning systems and disaster management.

We are discussing these possibilities with thought leaders and innovators at Royal HaskoningDHV. In this vlog series, they share their insights, vision and experience on how to enhance Resilience in Cities.

 

About Resilience in Cities In Conversation with Leaders

 

URBAN PLANNING AND STAKEHOLDER COLLABORATION REDUCE RISK & ENHANCE RESILIENCE

Today, people and assets are more densely concentrated in urban environments, making society much more vulnerable to climate-related disruption than in the past. In their vlog, Tjeerd Driessen (Director Business Development Africa) and Oluwaseun Oyebode (Civil Engineer and Consultant at Royal HaskoningDHV Southern Africa) discuss Southern Africa’s susceptibility to floods, droughts, hail, wildfires and storm surges; as well as the measures that should be taken to enhance resilience in the region.

 

Watch Tjeerd’s and Oluwaseun’s vlog below; and learn more about how Ghana brings flood alerts to the man on the street here.

Rapid urban growth in Southern Africa needs to be followed with the right investments in terms of urban planning, focusing on awareness, prevention, preparedness and also proper emergency response – in order to reduce the risks and exposure of communities and organisations to extreme weather events. 

Tjeerd Driessen and Oluwaseun Oyebode


URBAN PLANNING AND STAKEHOLDER COLLABORATION REDUCE RISK & ENHANCE RESILIENCE

Today, people and assets are more densely concentrated in urban environments, making society much more vulnerable to climate-related disruption than in the past. In their vlog, Tjeerd Driessen (Director Business Development Africa) and Oluwaseun Oyebode (Civil Engineer and Consultant at Royal HaskoningDHV Southern Africa) discuss Southern Africa’s susceptibility to floods, droughts, hail, wildfires and storm surges; as well as the measures that should be taken to enhance resilience in the region.

 

Watch Tjeerd’s and Oluwaseun’s vlog below; and learn more about how Ghana brings flood alerts to the man on the street here.

“By harnessing technology and learning from other sectors, we can evolve tools and strategies that allow us to resist the whole gamut of challenges that Australia faces.” 

Ben Patterson, Technical Director Rivers & Water Management, Australia, at Royal HaskoningDHV


IMPLEMENTING GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE FOR MORE LIVEABLE AND RESILIENT CITIES

In moving towards climate resilience, green infrastructure is currently being implemented by leading cities around the world. Nanco Dolman, Leading Professional in Water Resilient Cities at Royal HaskoningDHV says, “It is not only about managing stormwater in an effective way. Green infrastructure also adds to the liveability and aesthetics of urban areas by providing benefits in tackling heat stress and drought, and by making cities much more appealing places for city dwellers.” 

Listen to the complete vlog here.

 

“Water is a valuable resource for cities in supporting life and enabling prosperity and economic growth. But, because of population growth, urbanisation and climate change, this resource needs to be effectively managed.” 

Nanco Dolman, Leading Professional in Water Resilient Cities at Royal HaskoningDHV


Airports As Ambassadors For Greater Urban Resilience

Airports are essential to disaster response for cities and islands, and must be able to operate during extreme weather events. In their blog, Nanco Dolman, Leading Professional in Water Resilient Cities at Royal HaskoningDHV, and Vivekanandhan Sindhamani, Airport Consultant at NACO, discuss how airports are well positioned to act as both catalysts and proving grounds for trialing the latest developments in climate resilience, thereby setting high standards for surrounding urban areas.

Read Nanco’s and Vivek’s blog here

“All airports, large and small, have a role to play in actively demonstrating the ways in which cities and island states might address the challenges of climate change – and the world’s most progressive airports are already embracing this position.” 

Nanco Dolman and Vivekanandhan Sindhamani


LONG-TERM ADAPTIVE CAPACITY FOR RESILIENT ASSETS AND INFRASTRUCTURE

Resilience has an element of bounce back that includes improved resistance after an event and building adaptive capacity. Jaap Flikweert, Flood and Coastal Management Advisor UK at Royal HaskoningDHV, says, “For long-term investments, services like digital twins help infrastructure operators and companies to understand how natural systems are going to develop; and keep them informed about when they will need to invest again to keep their assets resilient.”

Watch Jaap’s vlog below and learn more about the Bacton Sandscaping Project here.

(Photo and drone footage credit: Chris Taylor)

“Multinationals and infrastructure operators should work with the public sector to develop combined solutions that enable companies, communities and infrastructure to become more resilient.” 

Jaap Flikweert, Flood and Coastal Management Advisor UK at Royal HaskoningDHV


Adopting new Digital Services to improve India’s Climate Resilience

India’s urban population is growing rapidly, and extreme climate events are increasingly affecting built up areas. Vikas Goyal, Director Resilience & Water India for Royal HaskoningDHV says that, with a population of early and fast adopters of digital technology, facilitated by the low cost of data, the way is clear for a rapid expansion in the development and use of digital tools to improve resilience to climatic and other natural risks.

 

Read Vikas’ blog here

“The key to better resilience for India’s cities lies in the coordinated adoption of digital tools and services to build the capabilities of stakeholders and to develop modern resilient infrastructure.” 

Vikas Goyal, Director Resilience & Water India for Royal HaskoningDHV


STAIN: COLLABORATIVE MODELLING ENABLES CITY RESILIENCE STRATEGIES

STAIN is a multi-stakeholder tool used to design resilience strategies for cities, and to cross-learn from the solutions and strategies of other cities. Micheline Hounjet, Product Development Resilience at Royal HaskoningDHV, explains that this collaborative modelling process gives City Resilience teams an overview of their entire city; and enables robust, flexible, redundant and integral solutions to be combined for resilience strategies that are futureproof on many levels, for the benefit of all stakeholders.

 

Read Micheline’s blog here

“Collaboration between different parties is essential to climate adaptation processes. Using a digital tool that can translate numerous contributions into a comprehensive, collaborative design gives confidence to stakeholders that their views are being heard and will be the basis for further developments and collaboration.” 

Micheline Hounjet, Product Development Resilience


SMART WATER SOLUTIONS FOR RESILIENT SOCIETIES AND ECONOMIES

South Africa, and indeed the entire sub-Saharan Africa region, are significantly water-stressed and prone to water crises. In his blog, Bonga Ntuli, Director Business Unit Infrastructure: Africa for Royal HaskoningDHV, discusses the need for enhanced Resilience in the context of both drought and flooding over recent years, as well as the World Economic Forum Global Risks Report 2019; and talks about how smart water solutions are critical to mitigating the impacts of water crises.

 

Read Bonga’s blog here

“Water connects, it doesn’t separate – what manifests as a regional or local crisis quickly becomes a global problem. To enhance social and economic resilience, smart water solutions are critical to mitigating the impacts of water crises.” 

Bonga Ntuli, Director Business Unit Infrastructure: Africa for Royal HaskoningDHV


NEXT GENERATION DIGITAL INNOVATIONS ENABLE RESILIENCE

In the age of urbanisation, cities should recognise themselves as urban ecosystems. Nanco Dolman, Leading Professional Water Resilient Cities at Royal HaskoningDHV, says that a new generation in digital tools will enable better awareness of climate- and water-related risks and their impacts, and of how to accelerate actions towards adaptation and resilience.

Watch Nanco’s vlog below and learn more about how the delta city, Zwolle, created a resilience strategy in Nanco’s article here.

“As providers of urban ecosystems, cities should recognise themselves as part of greater water supply catchments promoting water sensitive networks and communities.” 

Nanco Dolman, Leading Professional in Water Resilient Cities at Royal HaskoningDHV


ACTIONABLE INSIGHTS FOR BUSINESS CONTINUITY

With companies and consumers around the world expecting 24/7 service and just-in-time delivery all year round, business continuity is fundamental. Due to globalisation, local outfall will have global impact. To mitigate operational, supply chain or distribution interruptions caused by severe weather or natural hazards, industries must take steps to increase the resilience of their assets and processes.

Lennart Silvis, Global Director Water for Industry at Royal HaskoningDHV, says that new digital innovations offer great opportunities for analysing, forecasting and mitigating risks related to business continuity.

“By making informed decisions around the impacts of weather and climate for their investments, industries will be empowered to improve their business continuity.” 

Lennart Silvis, Global Director Water for Industry at Royal HaskoningDHV


THE REAL IMPACTS OF WATER AND CLIMATE CHANGE RISKS

Floods affect more people globally than any other type of natural hazard and cause some of the largest economic, social and humanitarian losses. Lisette Heuer, Global Director Resilience at Royal HaskoningDHV observes that climate and flood risks are more interconnected and interdependent than ever, and that cities and urban areas are most susceptible to the impacts of these risks.

Read Lisette’s blog here

 

“Although water and climate change risks are global challenges, their impact is determined by the local context. Climate resilience is therefore essential to people, society, economy and infrastructure.” 

Lisette Heuer, Global Director Resilience at Royal HaskoningDHV


FROM PROTECTION TO RISK REDUCTION TO RESILIENCE

Extreme weather events, natural disasters, climate action failure, and water crisis are in the top 5 of global risks according to the World Economic Forum’s ‘Global Risks Report 2020’. Lisette Heuer, Global Director Resilience at Royal HaskoningDHV, sees a movement in the last decennia from Protection to Risk Reduction to inclusive Resilience, by applying different measures at different timescales to fit local needs.

Read Lisette’s blog here

 

“Applying resilience enhancing measures can prevent fall-out of infrastructure and businesses due to hazards or extreme weather. The public and private sectors should therefore make Resilience top priority in delivering long-term benefits to society.” 

Lisette Heuer, Global Director Resilience at Royal HaskoningDHV


RESILIENCE IN CITIES: ADDRESSING SOCIETAL AND ECONOMIC RISKS

Critical infrastructure operators, businesses and the financial sector all run an economic risk of damage related to natural disasters. Lisette Heuer, Global Director Resilience at Royal HaskoningDHV says that Resilience should therefore be the combined effort of both the public and private sectors, in order to make society and economies more resilient to upcoming climate change.

 

“In addressing climate-related risks, I see the trend moving from Protection to Risk Reduction to Resilience, where Resilience combines hard infrastructure with adaptation as well as organisational measures, disaster management and early warning systems” 

Lisette Heuer, Global Director Resilience at Royal HaskoningDHV