Symposium: Education for Water Resilient Cities: Education for the City We Need

Published at: 6 March 2018

On 14-15 May, TU Delft in partnership the Center for the Living City (US), the University of Utah (US), the Department of Urban Planning of the National Cheng Kung University (Taiwan) and ARCADIS, will organise a symposium to discuss new water-sensitive urbanisation paradigms and how to integrate them into EDUCATION for the built environment in the framnework of the New Urban Agenda.

Building on the rich Dutch tradition of water-sensitive urbanisation, we are seeking to create a community of educators, students, researchers and other stakeholders who can contribute to education for fair, resilient and water friendly cities, within the framework of the UN-Habitat New Urban Agenda and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) - part of a wider 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

It is becoming widely recognized that there is no such a thing as a 'natural disaster', but only extreme climate events to which our cities and regions are ill-adapted. These extreme climate events are becoming more numerous as the planet's climate transforms as a result of human activity. While many traditional cultures were able to manage the land and converse with nature in a sustainable way, the advent of industrialisation and modernisation has broken the links between settlements and the landscape in favour of a type of urbanisation that pretends to tame nature. This paradigm is no longer viable or desirable, as time after time nature comes back at us and castigates our poorly managed cities. Recent events in Houston, San Juan, São Paulo, Cape Town, Southern Taiwan and many other cities and regions around the world call for an alternative way of planning and designing our cities in compass with natural systems and, most especially, in compass with our water resources. Many places around the world, including the Netherlands, are seeking a new paradigm of urban development in which cities and regions should not 'fight' or 'tame' water, but should work with natural systems in order to create safe and resilient cities. To these challenges, we can add the need for inclusive participatory planning and community involvement.

This symposium is organized within the framework of TU Delft's partnership with UN-Habitat and the World Urban Campaign to promote and teach issues connected to the New Urban Agenda. The outcome of this event will be a declaration of principles for education for water resilient cities and communities that will be presented and discussed at a special session organized by NCKU at the annual meeting of the Association of European Schools of Planning annual meeting in Gothenburg, Sweden (10-14 July 2018), and at the 2018 iCities Innovative Planning Education and Research Forum in Tainan, Taiwan (25-27 October 2018).

We accept contributions from educators, students and professionals in the form of accounts of experiences and practices that address education on water resilience in urban planning, urban design, community building, and urban management. Please, submit an abstract with no more than 400 words to until 30 MARCH 2018.

For more information, please visit the website: