SOS Waterfront started in Brussels; February 2019

In Brussels on January 29, 2019, the coordinators of the six cities of the SOS Waterfront program met; to discuss the launch of the pro-gram and to get to know the EU coordinator Eleftheria Lykoures. Ped-ro Ressano Garcia the central project leader led the 12 attendees through the day. It took a while to speak through all the EU proce-dures, the regulations and objectives to be followed during the pro-gram. But happily, as it showed the Madam Curie H2020 program focuses and sharing knowledge; by visiting on solutions without EU hard targets at the start. The program and the planning were dis-cussed too; and so we learned each other better, a fruitful day.

SOS Waterfront currently connects six cities: Lisbon, Thessaloniki, Rome, Gdansk, Stockholm and Amsterdam area. The central organiza-tions founding fathers are, apart from “non-academic” CPONH for the Amsterdam area, all “academic” partners. These organizations also have included local partners in the project; such as the Chamber of Commerce in Lisbon and the Port Authority of Ostend. A number of foreign universities are supporter such as Macau and Berkeley Uni-versity. The ULHT organization and all these partners received a budget from the EU to make 160 visits of a month together, to share knowledge, to show a number of issues related to sea level rise and what that means for cities and their people. to draw conclusions.

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CPONH Team started-up

The CPONH team will start this spring; the aim is for our professionals to travel to these cities to visualize resilience; through interviewing and by sharing their impressions with professionals there; together to get an overall picture of the EU situation. In recent months we have found directors, managers and researchers willing to form this team. Is clear; before everyone agrees to participate, we must thoroughly dis-cuss: what the program looks like, what is expected of us, and how we proceed. In short, the group process is ongoing.

 

First Secondment in Lisbon

During the first workshop of the SOS Waterfront program; March 20-21 in Lisbon, Fred Sanders launched the first CPONH ‘Secondment’ by exploring the city, studying the Tagus river and by discussing the typical local situation related to seawater level rise with the other con-ference participants coming from Gdansk; Greece and Lisbon. Some of them were there for a month; others for a shorter period. The “Se-condments” of a month can be cut into weeks; in favor of the program and the participants. Soon Fred will visit Lisbon again for more weeks and more interviews; and new exchange of knowledge.

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First Gdansk Poland conference

In June 2019, the first SOS Waterfront conference is in Gdansk; Hugo Sanders housing developer of IJburg island in Amsterdam will be there. At IJburg he gained experience with building in the water. He is very curious about the situation in Gdansk. Gdansk is similar to the Netherlands; the river “Motlawa” causes flooding of the old city by heavy rainfall, the polder landscape that was once constructed with the help of Dutch people suffers from wet periods and droughts, and the Baltic Sea water-level is rising too. He will interview some local key people to make a start on his Gdansk “Secondment”.
The SOS Waterfront program is about exchanging knowledge by visiting other’s cities, for reflection of each other’s work in progress and as possible start for new work initiatives, on the subject of seawater-level rice and what that does to cities and their citizens.

Central for reaching this general goal are the ‘Secondment’ visits whereby researchers and managers of respectively academic and non-academic organization based in these cities, visit each other during period of weeks, to give the others and themselves the chance speeding-up results.

The workshops and conferences therefor give creative moments to meet others; for understanding each other better and pushing reflection for bringing each other’s personal work on a higher level.

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SOS Waterfront: the program

The SOS Waterfront program is about exchanging knowledge by visitingother’s cities, for reflection of each other’s work in progress and aspossible start for new work initiatives, on the subject of seawater-level rice and what that does to cities and their citizens.

Central for reaching this general goalare the ‘Secondment’ visits wherebyresearchers and managers of respectively academic and non- academic organization based in these cities, visit each other during period of weeks, to give the others and themselves the chance speeding-up results.

The workshops and conferences therefor give creative moments to meet others; for understanding each other better and pushing reflection for bringing each other’s personal work on a higher level.

 

CPONH

CPO Noord-Holland NGO started in 2008 with the mission to support civilian initiatives in the Northwest of the Netherlands; to stimulate new sustainable housing, and other sustainable initiatives. CPONH has supported many municipalities and civilian initiatives in the past years; from which most of the initiatives are realized on the island Texel.

ULHT University asked CPONH to participate in the SOS Waterfront H2020 research program; because of its expertise in bottom-up initiatives in the most well-known ‘polder’ area called ‘Noorderkwartier’ in the Netherlands. The area is on three sites surrounded by water; what makes it worthwhile studying the state of resiliency with the other program partners.

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