PDPC took NEEDS conference participants on a walking tour through future urban parks and resilient adaptations in Rotterdam.
The Pandemic and Disaster Preparedness Centre (PDPC) organised a walking tour through the city of Rotterdam for participants of the NEEDS conference. With the walking tour, PDPC wanted to present projects in Rotterdam relating to societal resilience to disasters and adaptation to climate change. The excursion aimed to show how much disaster resilience research at the EUR is embedded in our urban environment and how the City of Rotterdam works with local entrepreneurs, private companies and communities to adapt the city to climate change.
The tour was led by Tim de Waele and Wessel Veenman from the Climate Adaptation Team of the municipality of Rotterdam and organized by Clara Egger Assistant Professor of Global Governance at the Department of Public Administration and Sociology and Nora Bünemann, Project Manager, both working at the Erasmus School of Behavioural and Social Sciences (ESSB) of the Erasmus University Rotterdam. The excursion was attended by a diverse group of researchers, ranging from urban planning and architecture to social sciences, from all over the world, including the United States, France, Nepal, Peru and the Netherlands.
The tour led the participants to the Schouwburgplein, which sits on top of a car park in the middle of the city centre; the first floor of the car park is being converted into a bicycle garage to encourage the use of bicycles as a means of transport into the city centre, and the square is one of eight locations in Rotterdam that will be transformed into an urban park.
The design of urban green spaces contributes to improving society’s adaptation to climate change in dense concrete cities like Rotterdam. The old railway tracks from The Hague to Rotterdam are a great example of how urban space can be reused for recreational purposes within a community.
The tracks are no longer in use, and the city has turned the area into community gardens for the neighbourhood and the local school. In the coming years, the city of Rotterdam will transform the train tracks into a highline, similar to New York City’s Highline. The two-hour walk ended with a typical Dutch borrel.