The Disaster Impact and Response pillar researches natural and artificial disasters to understand risks and potential consequences and prevent large-scale accidents or mitigate their effects. We explore disaster planning and resilience to understand the consequences of disasters and the impact of disaster plans, with the prospect of more effective and efficient management.
Climate change and overpopulation increase the frequency and severity of extreme weather events. Delta cities like Rotterdam are extra sensitive to rising sea levels and flooding. Researchers at Delft University of Technology have been assessing the city’s vulnerability to flooding, and its various critical systems, such as transportation, energy, and healthcare.
Bas Jonkman, Professor of Hydraulic Engineering at the Delft University of Technology and one of the pioneers of the PDPC, explains: ‘At the Pandemic and Disaster Preparedness Center, we are developing knowledge on designing a city to be well protected and prepared for current and future threats. We will investigate how we can evacuate cities during disasters and ensure continued healthcare provision.’
Climate change, globalisation and extreme weather events are linked to the dramatic increase in new infectious diseases in recent decades. For example, wetlands and urban water bodies are a solution to flooding but pose the risk of rising mosquito populations. That’s why the PDPC emphasises the importance of cross-pollination of ideas and enables collaboration between different research fields.