Monday, November 4, 2019
10:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Location: Amsterdam RAI
  • Chair - Henk Ovink, Special Envoy for International Water Affairs
Session: AIWW Conference Resilient City Leaders Forum (RCLF) – round 1

Resilient City Leaders Forum 2019: from resilient city cases to bankable projects in developed and developing countries

The Resilient City Leaders Forum (RCLF) will focus on local level adaptation. The implementation of solutions should not follow a ‘top-down’ approach, but instead, adopt a more inclusive collaboration where civil society is a main stakeholder. Future flood protection measures should feature nature-based solutions and the use of an integrated approach, which involves multiple sectors, spatial planning and a business case accounting for both public and private interests. Simultaneously, effective master plans are needed to support progress towards a circular water economy and reflect the long-term nature of climate adaptation. In order to facilitate this process, cities need a central coordinating organisation. This also requires involvement of potential financiers and investors from the start of project development, which is key for generating bankable propositions with sound financial structures. This can be blended finance mechanisms to make use of public and/or private financing.

At the RCLF, leaders from various cities around the world will present the efforts undertaken, and the challenges encountered, in improving their cities climate resilience. The RCLF will present ten cases from across the world. Global network organisations and financial institutions will also present their activities and facilities. 


Round tables RCLF themes

At the RCLF round table session, city leaders and experts will discuss the various city cases in more detail. Listed below are the themes of the tables:

  1. Houston and Rotterdam: A Tale of Two Resilient Cities
  2. Inclusive Manila Bay Sustainable Development Master Plan (MBSDMP):
    “Towards a safe and livable Manila Bay”
  3. Chennai: Water as Leverage – RISECHENNAI: Rising waters, raising futures
  4. Miami Beach: Challenges of a low elevation barrier island
  5. Wuhan: Nature Based Sponge Cities
  6. Tirana: Inclusive, Child Friendly and Green Cities
  7. Cape Town: Drought Learning Initiatives
  8. Rotterdam and Amsterdam: Failures and Lessons Learned in Community Engagement for Climate Adaptation
  9. Vejle: Developing water sensitive futures
  10. Monterrey

The objective is to develop new perspectives or ideas that can help cities to adapt to climate change more effectively.


Leaders forum
Cities

Location: Amsterdam RAI
Room: E102

Add to Agenda 04 November 2019 10:00 04 November 2019 11:30 Europe/Amsterdam AIWW Conference Resilient City Leaders Forum (RCLF) – round 1

Resilient City Leaders Forum 2019: from resilient city cases to bankable projects in developed and developing countries

The Resilient City Leaders Forum (RCLF) will focus on local level adaptation. The implementation of solutions should not follow a ‘top-down’ approach, but instead, adopt a more inclusive collaboration where civil society is a main stakeholder. Future flood protection measures should feature nature-based solutions and the use of an integrated approach, which involves multiple sectors, spatial planning and a business case accounting for both public and private interests. Simultaneously, effective master plans are needed to support progress towards a circular water economy and reflect the long-term nature of climate adaptation. In order to facilitate this process, cities need a central coordinating organisation. This also requires involvement of potential financiers and investors from the start of project development, which is key for generating bankable propositions with sound financial structures. This can be blended finance mechanisms to make use of public and/or private financing.

At the RCLF, leaders from various cities around the world will present the efforts undertaken, and the challenges encountered, in improving their cities climate resilience. The RCLF will present ten cases from across the world. Global network organisations and financial institutions will also present their activities and facilities. 


Round tables RCLF themes

At the RCLF round table session, city leaders and experts will discuss the various city cases in more detail. Listed below are the themes of the tables:

  1. Houston and Rotterdam: A Tale of Two Resilient Cities
  2. Inclusive Manila Bay Sustainable Development Master Plan (MBSDMP):
    “Towards a safe and livable Manila Bay”
  3. Chennai: Water as Leverage – RISECHENNAI: Rising waters, raising futures
  4. Miami Beach: Challenges of a low elevation barrier island
  5. Wuhan: Nature Based Sponge Cities
  6. Tirana: Inclusive, Child Friendly and Green Cities
  7. Cape Town: Drought Learning Initiatives
  8. Rotterdam and Amsterdam: Failures and Lessons Learned in Community Engagement for Climate Adaptation
  9. Vejle: Developing water sensitive futures
  10. Monterrey

The objective is to develop new perspectives or ideas that can help cities to adapt to climate change more effectively.

E102 - Amsterdam RAI

Subsession

RCLF table 1: Houston and Rotterdam: A Tale of Two Resilient Cities

Objective for the discussion will be to look for collaboration opportunities on urban resilience between Houston and Rotterdam. These 2 cities have a lot in common, as modern Petro-Chem industrial and Port cities: in fact, Houston is the no. 1 and Rotterdam is the no. 2 Oil & Gas port in the world.  Both cities also have resilience challenges in common, as both are low-lying and therefore share risk of flooding. Both cities experienced heavy urban rainfall flooding as well and coastal storm surge flooding in the recent past, and both are part of the 100RC Cities network.

Last summer, a “Living with water” session with participants from Houston and the Netherlands (including Rotterdam) discussed how to increase urban flood resilience with smart landscaping and spatial planning, improving livability for underserved communities and looking for economic development opportunities. Surprisingly, till today the actual collaboration on resilience between the 2 cities has been limited. But now there is an opportunity to step up the bilateral resilience collaboration efforts: In March 2020 a trade delegation from Rotterdam will visit Houston to investigate economic opportunities. How can we get resilience higher on the joint agenda for this event and what steps do we need to take? what can the cities learn from each other, and how can they benefit on resilience from an intensified bilateral relationship?

 

  • Chair - Piet Dircke, Arcadis
RCLF table 2: Inclusive Manila Bay Sustainable Development Master Plan (MBSDMP): “Towards a safe and livable Manila Bay”

All over the world, cities face the complex challenge how to plan and manage the design and implementation of their build environment, while simultaneously taking future (uncertain) developments and transitions into account. The complexity continues, due to the need to respect the natural environment and stimulate the socio-economic development.

In 2019 Tokyo-Yokohama is still the largest, with 38.5 million, with Manila ranked 4th with 25.0 million. Greater Manila already has 32.9 million and is expected to reach rank 1 with 50.1 million people by 2050.

The MBSDMP will contribute to the general goal of improving the socio-economic conditions of the communities around the Manila Bay area. The MBSDMP includes water quality improvement, ecosystem protection, disaster risk reduction and upgrading of informal settlements, all based on the concept of inclusiveness. At the same time MBSDMP will ensure that private sector investments in the Bay and the coastal area contribute financially, technically and managerially to the agreed development goals, including improved living conditions in informal settlements. To include all these is ambitious and the primary focus of MBSDMP will remain on the Manila Bay itself.

Objective

  • To restore and maintain a resilient Manila Bay that is able to provide economic and ecological services to the communities around the bay in a sustainable way (fisheries, recreation, navigation, etc.).
  • To protect the coastal communities against the risk of flooding under present conditions and under expected climate change conditions.

 

While

  • Considering the living conditions of the people in the informal settlements around the Bay and the general governmental principle of inclusive development.

And

  • Making use of private sector investments in the Bay to achieve above objectives sustainable Manila Bay and improve the living conditions and economic situation of the people in the informal settlements.

 

However, MBSDMP is not an urban planning project for Metro-Manila or a basin-planning project for the inflowing rivers. Neither will it be able address the full issues related to drinking water supply and sanitation of the urban and rural areas around Manila Bay. MBSDMP will address the informal settlements issues related to Manila Bay but the project is not able and meant to solve the general issues of the informal settlements. MBSDMP will include poverty as one of the indicators in the analysis but MBSDMP is not a poverty alleviation project. The distinction what MBSDMP will address and what not is a bit fluid but it is important to keep in mind that MBSDMP is ultimately about the status of Manila Bay.

RCLF table 3: Chennai: Water as Leverage – RISECHENNAI: Rising waters, raising futures

The Water as Leverage (WaL) program is an effort to bridge innovative financing, inclusive design, and government collaboration in the development and implementation of projects that mitigate the impacts and adapt to the effects of climate change. The WaL program aims to balance long-term urban planning with short-term innovative transformations, and climate adaptation and mitigation plans with bankable projects that that can be scaled up and replicated in regions worldwide. International financial institutions as well as local, regional, and national governments, local communities, NGOs, and private sector firms, are involved, contributing to multidisciplinary teams’ analyses of systemic risks and opportunities in three Asian cities: Chennai (India), Semarang (Indonesia), and Khulna (Bangladesh).

 

The projects in the Indian city of Chennai develop an approach addressing the challenges of water quality, water supply, flood risk and coastal protection. The overarching strategy is to redevelop the project locations into corridors that are the face of a new type of development in Chennai, combining resilient, safe and attractive public spaces that improve both residential areas and private sector developments while addressing the quality and availability of urban water.

 

In the workshop the approach for Chennai will be discussed. We hope to learn from the attendants’ feedback with insights from other cities to further improve the approach for Chennai. Questions for the dialogue are:

 

  • How is this approach different from approaches taken elsewhere?
  • Can lessons be learned based on this holistic approach and are they replicable for other cities?
  • How can we bridge the gap between conceptual design and financing to secure implementation?
  • What are the next steps?
  • Chair - Hans Gehrels, Deltares
RCLF table 4: Miami Beach: Challenges of a low elevation barrier island

The City of Miami Beach is a narrow barrier island that is only a few feet above sea level in most locations.  In addition to this challenge the subsurface material is a calcium carbonate-based limestone that is extremely porous and allows water to travel through it at a high rate of speed.  In an environment of high intensity rainfall and ever-increasing sea levels how does this community remain ahead of these challenges.

 

Challenges/discussion topics:

  • Low elevation Coastal Cities in general, e.g. porous limestone, storm surge
  • How do we maintain the highest standards of water quality while addressing these issues as the enjoyment of the water is the major draw to the area?
  • How to combine adaptation/mitigation measures without impacting the liveability of the community
  • Land Use Planning and Infrastructure improvements must go hand in hand
  • Chair - John Bennett, City of Tampa
RCLF table 5: Wuhan: Nature Based Sponge Cities

With 11 million residents, Wuhan is the most populous city in Central China. The city lies at the intersection of the Yangtze and Han rivers. Flooding from the two rivers has been strongly reduced by the construction of levees and upstream reservoirs. However, urbanization has reduced the retention capacity of the city and there is a lack of surface water and green spaces.

What can be learned from the National Sponge City Program of China? How can other cities benefit from their experiences and successes?

RCLF table 6: Tirana: Inclusive, Child Friendly and Green Cities

Resilient cities promote sustainable development, well-being and inclusive growth.

In an urban context, resilient cities contain an in-exhaustive list of possibilities. In our city, a priority has been given to sustainable development, well-being and creation of an inclusive city.  The last 28 years, Tirana has faced a rapid population increase, hence urbanisation developed faster than infrastructure needed to support its growth (from 280.000 in 1989 to 1 million live now in Tirana). The urban sprawl did not respect the standards of sustainable living, but it rather created a wrong philosophy where housing and business construction were the only things that mattered, everything else such as green or public spaces were undermined, hence there was a notable uneven distribution of green spaces vs buildings.

Green City – Orbital Forest 

The 1st strategic objective in Boeri ‘s Tirana General Local Plan 2030 is an “Orbital Forest” of 2 million trees, encircling Tirana, a green belt to prevent urban sprawl.  We started a campaign for planting trees every year to achieve the target. so far 70% of trees have been donated by citizens, mostly for their children’s birthdays. This way, we not only create a better future for our children, but we also grow children that will keep this future safe, as they are more invested in preserving their own trees.

Network of Civil Emergencies

Tirana experienced an earthquake of magnitude 5.6, on 21 September of this year, an event that resulted in multiple damages reported across Albania, but also tested our resilience as a city, especially following the post-earthquake cascading weather conditions. In the light of the emergency, we tested our developed network of donors that responded in 2-3 days after the event.

Inclusive communities 

Additionally, the city advocated for help from all citizens by campaigns to raise food and supplies for the endangered population. In cooperation with our teams the response rate was admirable. Citizens were informed in real time of all the needs and reported to local administration units which assisted in making the community network even stronger.

RCLF table 7: Cape Town: Drought Learning Initiatives

Last year Cape Town experienced the devastating effects of climate change: a multi-year drought of unprecedented severity led to a water crisis effecting the city and its people. Due to rapid response and adequate actions, the crisis was diverted. The Cape Town Drought Response Learning Initiative captures, distils and disseminates the lessons to be learned from the crisis, applicable to the manifold urban resilience challenges increasingly faced by cities around the world.

All over the world cities face similar (direct) threats, how can other cities learn from “Day Zero” in Cape Town? Is it possible to prevent these extreme events? What can citizens do to contribute towards resilient cities and communities?

RCLF table 8: Rotterdam and Amsterdam: Failures and Lessons Learned in Community Engagement for Climate Adaptation

The consequences of climate change are reflected in flooding, drought, heat and subsidence. Smart solutions for these major problems in the city often require far-reaching measures that require broad support, both from the government and from residents. The new way of working changes from top down (for the residents) to bottom up (by the residents). The measures to be taken are increasingly being achieved through all kinds of participation processes. Rotterdam and Amsterdam have gained experience in the intensive participation process in recent years. Residents are increasingly taking the initiative to come up with the right measures for their neighborhood and street. Good cooperation between the municipality and its inhabitants is very important Failures along the way are the best experiences to learn form and to re-evaluate your strategy. In this session cities will share their failures with others to learn from them.

RCLF table 9: Vejle: Developing water sensitive futures

Following its Resilience Strategy (2016), the city of Vejle is working on social and institutional solutions to facilitate its transition to a water-sensitive future. Like Vejle, cities in the North Sea Region (NSR) mainly focus on dealing with too much water and flooding. However, prolonged heat and dryness during the recent 2018 summer led to drought in many countries across Europe, including the NSR. This was an instant wake-up call for cities in the NSR which must also consider adaptation to more severe droughts and water scarcity.

In a project similar to CATCH, a network of six Australian cities, including the city of Townsville, is developing ‘Water sensitive city visions and transition strategies’. Bearing in mind the differences in regional water challenges, this roundtable will look at the experiences and lessons learned from both ‘water sensitive future’ pilots in the NSR and Australia, which are applicable to the water challenges experienced by cities around the world.

Experts:

Chris Tanner (CRC for Water Sensitive Cities, Australia), lead of WSC-transition project, incl. City of Townsville.

Emily O’Donnell, University of Nottingham (UK). Lead researcher in “Blue-Green Cities”, “Urban flood Resilience” and “Blue-Green Futures”.

  • Chair - Nanco Dolman, Royal HaskoningDHV
RCLF Table 10 – Monterrey
    • Chair - Milagros Sosa Landeo