Trailblazing Initiatives: Introducing Our Kick-Start Researchers

Since its launch in 2023, The Resilient Delta Kick-Starter grant has been dedicated to empowering early career academics pursuing impact-driven projects. After carefully reviewing many applications, we are thrilled to introduce the first group of 14 Kick-Start research projects and their dedicated researchers.

The Kick-Start grant goes beyond supporting groundbreaking research; it fosters a vibrant community of emerging change-makers. With two community events, opportunities for collaboration and forging new connections have flourished. Celebrating our fourteen Kick-Starter projects, pioneering solutions to societal challenges, we’re decided to partner with up ChatGPT. Together, we’ve distilled key themes for each project, offering a glimpse into their groundbreaking work. Join us in discovering how artificial intelligence illuminates the diverse ideas and approaches of our first cohort of change makers.

Jump to your favorite Kick-Start projects:

Citizen Voices in Biodiversity (BIO-CiVo)
Design-enabled Value Creation for a Resilient Delta
Empowering a Sustainable Future
Inequality & Automation
Kick-starting the Delta Works of the 21st century
Mobile Forest Arboretum
New Fuels for Clean Shipping
Nieuw Roffa 2100
Where We Stand
NOISE® New Outlooks In Sonic Environmental Resilience
Resilient Collaboration Laying the Groundwork for a Lab for Design Methods
ROCLIMI
The Contribution of Sponge Cities to Resilient Delta Cities
Toward Textile-form Futures
LISA

Citizen Voices in Biodiversity (BIO-CiVo)

The project BIO-CiVo aims to develop a digital platform enabling citizens to engage in discussions about local biodiversity scenarios and design their own interventions. Building upon a paper prototype used in Oud-Mathenesse, citizens discussed potential actions to increase biodiversity in their neighborhood. Amidst the deepening climate crisis, municipalities like Rotterdam and The Hague have initiated biodiversity monitoring and enhancement measures. However, public engagement remains crucial, given the prevalence of privately owned urban spaces.

Recognizing public perceptions of biodiversity as complex and distant, the BIO-CiVo project seeks to foster citizen participation through interactive map-based tools. It aligns with the broader “Wijk als Biotoop” initiative, offering promising prospects for collaborative biodiversity enhancement efforts. Follow-up to RDi SPRING pilot Citizen Voice

Learn more about the the workshop ‘Digital Engagement in Times of Climate Crisis’ that took place as part of the TU Delft Delta week.

Who are the researchers?
Dr Juliana Goncalves is part of the Spatial Planning and Strategy group within the Urbanism department. Dr Geertje Slingerland is part of the Urban Studies group within the Urbanism department.

Design-enabled value creation for a resilient delta

This research project explores joint value creation in mission-driven projects, particularly focusing on resilience efforts in the Greater Rotterdam region. While initial research offers insights into transdisciplinary collaboration, understanding the process of value creation and its effects on project collaboration and outcomes remains limited.

In projects aiming to empower underprivileged groups or achieve spatial justice, participants must navigate diverse backgrounds and conflicting value perspectives. Implicit and ambiguous values often lead to conflicts and delays, hindering progress in addressing urban inequalities. The project aims to develop a comprehensive understanding of joint value creation through transdisciplinary consortia and create a practical design method to optimize value creation and accelerate resilience efforts.

Learn more about the research project here

Who are the researchers?
The Design-enabled Value Creation team’s main members include Assist. Prof. Dr. ir. Marina Bos-de Vos (TUD), Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ingrid Mulder (TUD), researcher Ir. Sterre de Jager (TUD) and PhD candidate Maurice Jansen, MSc (EUR).

Empowering a Sustainable Future

The project “Empowering a Sustainable Future” aims to understand motivations behind sustainable behaviors and develop personalized interventions using advanced machine learning techniques. Through laboratory studies and field experiments, including one at Erasmus University, researchers will test various interventions like prompts, feedback, rewards, and gamification to encourage sustainable actions such as reducing food and energy consumption and increasing the use of biking and public transport.

Deep machine learning will help tailor interventions to individuals, optimizing effectiveness. The project seeks to achieve long-term behavioral change among students and develop a scalable platform for personalized interventions, contributing to strategies combating climate change.

Learn more about the research project here

Who are the researchers?

Sebastian Gabel (RSM) can be reached at gabel@rsm.nl, while Antonia Krefeld-Schwalb (RSM) is also a contact for inquiries.

Inequality & Automation

The project, “Inequality and Automation at the Port of Rotterdam,” led by PhD candidate José L. Gallegos from Rotterdam School of Management, investigates the distribution of automation’s benefits and costs within the Port. Gallegos, supported by a consortium including TU Delft researchers, aims to prevent potential job displacement among dockworkers due to automation.

The 10-month research initiative delves into the impacts of increasing automation, projected to reduce job numbers in the Dutch maritime sector by 25%. Concerns heighten as global automation trends suggest a potential 85% automation rate in dock work by 2040, prompting a focus on mitigating job displacement.

Learn more about the research project here

Who are the researchers?

The project is led by José Gallegos Quezada at gallegosquezada@rsm.nl, and Soyeon Kim is affiliated with TU Delft.

Kick-starting the Delta Works of the 21st century

By considering the possibility of conducting the national lower rivers systems analysis before 2040, we could potentially expedite the implementation of supranational system measures (megaprojects) between 2030 and 2050. This would be based on a decision made regarding the delta in 2026.

The research involves compiling an inventory of “building blocks”: potential supraregional system measures and dike projects (megaprojects) considered since 2000. These projects are then mapped and visualized for analysis. Subsequently, discussions are initiated with local governments to evaluate the impact of each building block and the ramifications of reserving space at particular locations. The insights gathered from these discussions are systematically collected to inform decision-making processes effectively.

Who are the researchers?

For inquiries, please reach out to Ties Rijcken at T.Rijcken@tudelft.nl. Joep van der Hagen is another member of the project team available for contact.

Mobile Forest Arboretum

The Mobile Forest Arboretum revolves around quantifying trees’ ability to improve urban livability by measuring water use, evapotranspiration curves, and container tree growth. The goal is to enhance Rotterdam’s beauty and citizens’ well-being with a walking forest of 36 movable trees, cooling and connecting Handelsplein for two years. Community input is key for optimal tree placements and maximizing green space usage. The Kop van Zuid – Entrepot neighborhood celebrated the “Bos op Poten” on June 21, where attendees named trees, planned activities, and stakeholders gave remarks. Visit bosoppoten.nl for event details and photos.

Who are the researchers?

The researchers leading this project are Tom van den Wijngaard and Max Doedens, who can be reached via email at T.vandenWijngaard@tudelft.nl

New Fuels for Clean Shipping

The kick-start research project “New Fuels for Clean Shipping” delves into the creation of diverse scenarios to analyze the potential costs and benefits of different fuel alternatives. This analysis, ranging from best to worst case, serves to align the Port of Rotterdam with required greenhouse gas reductions as outlined by the IPCC.  Through this collaborative effort, we aim to provide policymakers with a comprehensive tool for honest examination of the obstacles and trade-offs involved in shaping the Port’s future sustainability strategies.

Who are the researchers?

Key contributors include Yogi Hendlin (hendlin@esphil.eur.nl) from ESPHIL, Tanner Tuttle, Jeroen Pruijn from TU Delft, and Dirk Koppenol from ESE/UPT.

Nieuw Roffa 2100

The research project “New Roffa” focuses on pioneering the investigation of spatial alternatives to the demolitions of historical buildings, addressing the challenges posed by climate change.

This project elaborates on spatial visions and designs aimed at adapting (retrofitting) a selected number of existing buildings in Rotterdam. It takes into account the current climate projections for temperature, sea level rise, and rainfall by 2100, utilizing art-based and 3D modeling techniques. Conducted as a pilot feasibility study, this initiative involves collaboration with actual inhabitants of preferred site locations. It employs mixed methods of social, engineering, and spatial co-design to ensure comprehensive and inclusive planning processes.

Who are the researchers?

The researchers leading this project are Luca Iuorio, reachable at L.Iuorio@tudelft.nl, and Qian Ke from IHS. You can contact them via email for further information or collaboration inquiries.

Where We Stand

This research project focuses on expanding the application of the collective self-inquiry method, previously tested four times, to investigate communities’ experiences with climate change adaptation strategies in Rotterdam and Dordrecht. With the Resilient Delta Initiative grant, the researchers will refine the method, train facilitators, and implement it in urban contexts. Emphasizing stakeholder engagement, especially with residents, the aim is to foster a collective understanding of climate change impacts and potential collaborative solutions. Through exchanges and exercises, the research seeks to facilitate a deeper understanding of climate change experiences and inspire collaborative action for a more resilient and livable environment.

Who are the researchers?
The researchers spearheading this project are Audrey Esteban (T.A.Esteban@tudelft.nl) and Dr. Mahardhika Sjamsoe’oed Sadjad (sjamsoeoed@iss.nl). For inquiries or further information, please feel free to reach out to them via email.

NOISE® New Outlooks In Sonic Environmental Resilience

The NOISE® project delves into the transformation of public spaces in port cities, specifically harbour districts transitioning into residential areas. We aim to explore the diverse environmental characteristics impacting public health, with a special focus on the role of sound in redeveloped harbour spaces and its connection to social resilience. Currently, a pilot study is being conducted in Katendrecht, Rotterdam, to gather insights. The goal is to showcase the findings through an artistic-interactive map at a local community event scheduled for June 2024.

Learn more about this research project

Who are the Researchers?
The project is led by Vincent Baptist as the project leader, and Sahar Asadollahi Asl Zarkhah, contributing as both a researcher and co-organizer. The team also includes esteemed research advisors Maurice HarteveldMarielle Beenackers, and Daniele Cannatella, along with the creative input of artist Nadia Nena Pepels and the valuable assistance of student assistant Rosa de Kruif.

Resilient Collaboration Laying the Groundwork for a Lab for Design Methods

The project aims to navigate design methods to balance academic depth with the realities of transdisciplinary collaboration, addressing tensions and dilemmas. Design methods, such as sketches and prototypes, facilitate engagement among stakeholders, bridging abstract discussions with everyday realities. Despite various method collections, non-designers often lack awareness of their existence, and these collections often overlook contextual nuances.

With a Convergence Kick-Starter Grant from Resilient Delta, the consortium launches a lab for design methods, envisioning an interactive online environment to foster knowledge exchange and co-learning. Collaborators seek to explore design methods’ situated nature and invite participation from those interested in advancing transdisciplinary collaboration.

Learn more about this research project

Who are the researchers?
The consortium is led by assistant professor Değer Özkaramanlı (IDE, TU Delft) in collaboration with assistant professor Laurens Kolks (IDE, TU Delft), Geert Brinkman (PhD Candidate, Erasmus University Rotterdam) and professor Bregje van Eekelen (Professor of Design, Culture and Society, TU Delft and Professor of History of Social and Human Sciences, Erasmus University Rotterdam).

ROCLIMI

How do residents with a migration background in Rotterdam perceive climate change, and how does this influence their engagement in local living environments and policymaking? This kick-starter project aims to enhance the resilience of Rotterdam’s cities, neighborhoods, and residents to climate change while addressing barriers to participation in climate policy-making, particularly within the City of Rotterdam. Through dialogue with individuals from two Rotterdam neighborhoods, this project employs citizen science methodologies. Residents are invited to develop and document Urban Walks, reflecting on sustainability, environmental stewardship, healthy living environments, local climate change initiatives, and areas requiring improvement by policymakers.

Who are the researchers?

The researchers leading this project are Lore Van Praag, reachable at vanpraag@essb.eur.nl, along with dr. Joost Oude Groeniger  from ErasmusMC and Kjell Noordzij from ESSB. You can contact them via email for further information or collaboration inquiries.

The Contribution of Sponge Cities to Resilient Delta Cities

Dr. Maryam Naghibi, formerly a landscape architect in Iran and now a postdoctoral researcher in Urbanism, explores public opinion on “sponge city” measures, focusing on green and blue elements like parks and water bodies. She emphasizes the importance of community acceptance for resilience measures to be effective. Sponge cities, abundant in greenery and surface water, effectively manage rainfall and river water, making Rotterdam an ideal candidate for such initiatives. Maryam investigates strategies to integrate residents’ needs into sponge city planning, evaluating various measures’ feasibility, discussing them with residents, and assessing their applicability in Rotterdam.

Read the interview “The Art of Listening: an Iranian Landscape Architects interviews Elderly in Rotterdam”

Who are the researchers?

The researchers leading this project are Maryam Naghibi, reachable at M.Naghibi@tudelft.nl, and Claudiu Forgaci from the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment (BK). You can contact them via email for further information or collaboration inquiries.

Toward Textile-form Futures

This research focuses on textile-forms, textile-based objects created through simultaneous construction of textile and form, aiming for on-demand and local production to mitigate the textile industry’s significant climate impacts. By exploring textile-forms’ future from design, manufacturing, and systems perspectives, the project seeks to envision a sustainable vision for the Dutch and Greater Rotterdam Region. With the textile industry’s substantial environmental footprint, innovation and collaboration are crucial to revolutionize current systems. The project aims to develop a strategy for circular textile-form systems, including the establishment of circular micro-factories. Ultimately, it aims to enhance societal resilience by promoting sustainable textile options and stimulating innovation in the local textile industry.

Learn more about this research project

Who are the researchers?

The team consists of Assist. Prof., Dr Holly McQuillan (TUD), Assoc. Prof., Dr Mariangela Lavanga (EUR), researcher Ir. Sterre de Jager (TUD), PhD candidate Milou Voorwinden, MA (TUD), and TU/d graduation students Sem JanssenSavanne Klop and (soon to be graduate student) Marilise Berrens. Dr Alexander Wandl (TUD BK), student assistant Barbara de Meijer (TUD BK) and Jamaal Tribune, MSc, will further support the team.

LISA

This project revolves around leveraging data-driven insights to provide stakeholders with a better understanding of the foundational economy. This knowledge equips them to make informed trade-offs among diverse land uses, encompassing various sectors of both the present and future economy.

Who are the researchers?

The researchers leading this project are Merten Nefs and Jeroen van Haaren from UPT/ESE, reachable at nefs@ese.eur.nl. Additionally, Karel van den Berghe from BK is also involved in the project. Feel free to contact them via email for further inquiries or collaboration opportunities.

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