We must come together in a holistic way to face our challenges and take actions that can enhance resilience going forward.
Some of our biggest challenges and transitions include: a changing economy driven more by sharing and technological innovation; a different climate resulting from predicted climate change; and changes in society and democracy driven by a move away from top-down hierarchy to a more bottom up approach with much greater levels of community and citizen involvement.
In 2030, Rotterdam will be a city where:
- Strong citizens respect each other and are continuously developing themselves
- The energy infrastructure provides for an efficient and sustainable energy supply in port and city
- Climate adaptation has penetrated into mainstream of city operations and water has added value for the city and our watermanagement system is cyberproof
- The underground is being used in such a way that it supports the growth and development of the city
- We have embraced digitization without making us dependant, and we have ensured a best practice level of cyber security
- Self organization in the city gets enough room and a flexible local government supports if really needed
- Resilience is part of our daily thinking and acting.
Strong citizens respect each other and are continuously developing themselves
We seek to build and strengthen resilience at the individual and the societal level. Knowledge, skills, education, health and wellbeing, and mutual understanding and respect are central pillars of a balanced society. We will work alongside the existing Social Perspectives program (Foresight Social) and will support and enhance a number of ongoing processes and initiatives to foster the resilience of Rotterdam’s citizens and society. Our focus is on:
- Developing 21st Century Skills to be ready to work in the ‘Next Economy’
- Individual health via improved public health policy
- Invest in monitoring tensions in society and in social cohesion and resilience to build openness
- Working to support a balanced population demographic in Rotterdam and specifically to attract highly educated people to the city
The energy infrastructure provides for an efficient and sustainable energy supply in port and city
Rotterdam wants to be the front runner in the clean energy transition and support recent political agreements through COP21 in Paris. The current and planned activities of the port of Rotterdam (Bioport), the roadmap Next Economy for ‘a zero carbon’ future (Smart Energy Delta) and the measures of the Rotterdam’s sustainability program focused on renewable energy and energy conservation support this agenda.
The Rotterdam energy infrastructure plan will give direction to the strategy for energy diversification at a district level, each with a roadmap for implementation. The port–industrial cluster will make and carry out an action plan in a joint effort with industries, government and the Rotterdam Port Authority. The Rotterdam sustainability program will be reinforced with new actions as follow up from COP21.
Increase resilience to cyber-threats at the city and port
The digitization of society offers many opportunities, as well as threatens the disruption of essential processes for production, logistics, and services. Individual companies and organizations may have their own security, but they are also dependent on other companies, organizations and government services. We will increase the resilience of Rotterdam to cyber threats by enhancing awareness, sharing knowledge and experience and joining forces to improve responsiveness and ICT products. Rotterdam will have implemented its cyber resilience strategy within 5 years and will have significantly enhanced its cyber resilience.
Both the port and city are taking cyber security seriously, they share experiences and have worked with Microsoft to develop comparable strategies and actions comprising 15 building blocks including a Cyber Resilience Platform, Cyber Resilience Desk, Cyber Resilience Co–op
and a Port Cyber Resilience Officer.
Build on current strategy by understanding cascading benefits and sophisticated risk knowledge
We will build on and scale of the benefits of our existing adaptation strategy. With a focus on clever water management approaches to deliver financial benefits, we will work to better understand cascading impacts and to factor these in to our cost benefit decision making. We will also strengthen our crisis management approaches based on increased knowledge of flood risks.
Develop a more robust and resilient underground infrastructure as a physical basis for a resilient Rotterdam
Much of Rotterdam’s underground infrastructure is crucial for the city to function. Today, our underground infrastructure is robust but lacks flexibility to respond to emergencies, new technological developments and over ground development growth is limited. We want to increase resilience by enhancing the awareness of risk, developing a policy for more robust decision making; more integrated planning practice both underground and over ground, relating to infrastructural interventions.
This requires a reinforcement of cooperation among all infrastructure managers, including the city as a platform to share plans and (often confidential) knowledge and information. We are going to create more specific databases and information on the location of infrastructure and functions and interdependencies of the subsurface. We will also explore how innovative SMART technology can be integrated into the “Street of the Future”.
Residents, public and private organizations, businesses and knowledge institutions will determine the resilience of the city together.
Our resilience increases as more alternative organisations arise, but more effort is needed to incorporate resilience thinking into the DNA of the government and to use and strengthen the energy of Rotterdam’s society. We will focus on increasing government flexibility and will facilitate connecting several networks of locals, individuals and businesses, as a catalyst for more bottom–up community and business initiatives, to share knowledge and experiences to the advantage of Rotterdam’s people and businesses.
Our future government will handle new ideas better and work to harness and augment the energy that derives from dour communities and will accept more redundancy providing more alternatives during outing of services and operations. We have committed to actions including developing the cities desk for new democracy and participation and providing support to existing networks, citywide and at district level because they directly contribute to the resilience of our city’s governance.
Develop an innovation and integration agenda to embed resilience thinking
We will develop an agenda on the back of this resilience strategy to identify co–benefits and synergies within our goals. One way we will do this is with district pilot areas. A number of actions and themes can come together physically at the neighbourhood or building level.
Innovation will also be encouraged through comprehensive integrated research with public and private stakeholders at different scales. This includes knowledge development and knowledge exchange between 100RC cities.
Our Resilience Team
Chief Resilience Officer@arnoudmolenaar
Maarten de Vries