You are here: 



February 7, 2017

Water Resilient Urban and Regional Development International Symposium Raumplanung

This symposium will focus on the role of water at the interface of urban and rural territories. Urban planners, researchers and practitioners from the urban Research Network established during the 'Transforming City Region' Conference held in Essen in 2014 together with further partners will present examples of design and urban planning solutions that have been implemented both in the US and in the Ruhr area in Germany in order to compare best practices, discuss different methodological approaches and define topics of future research and education. Ultimately, the goal of this symposium is enhance global expertise on both landscape- and settlement-related water management.

Seventy-one percent of the earth’s surface is covered by water. As a result of climate change and urban population growth, managing water resources has become more important than ever. The 2015 UN-Habitat’s “Guiding Principles for City Climate Action Planning” established globally applicable principles to help cities develop comprehensive climate action plans. Cities and urban regions play a central role in reducing human vulnerability by designing resilient infrastructures and enhancing a sustainable urban metabolism. Imbalanced ecosystems, scarce water resources and rising sea levels are just a few of the challenges that cities and urban regions face when designing climate action planning tools. While the UN principles serve as guidelines, different cities confront different risks and need to define which tools to use in their specific context.

As a result, mitigating the impacts of a changing climate through resilient spatial development has become an important topic in urban design, environmental planning, and architecture. The increasing need for green infrastructure and efficient water management in the design of safe, attractive and sustainable urban spaces requires innovative design solutions and new analytical methods. 

What we are trying to do is an experiment. On behalf of the water as a concrete and common planning issue of any settlement area (and especially the Ruhr), we would like to bring together different disciplines merely from practicioners, architects, planners, city administrators, but also political scientists, geographers and others to talk about how to work together on conceptualizing our educational work while facing the arising resilience issue. Under resilience, we understand robust physical structures which enable a flexible development or adjustment of the use patterns in the settlement space according to changing demands and challenges of the community/society.The rather practical emphasis is a tribute to the focus of our department of urban design and land use planning, which is focussing on practical planning work. It is related to the question on how to prepare us and our student colleagues for planning tasks ahead. One of such topics would be how to conceptually deal with the connection of local planning within a regional context, which we try to address under the term of a ‚multi-scale-urbanism‘. Nowadays, plenty of planning tasks are dealing with particular settlement quarters as pars pro toto of regional settlement landscapes. In terms of the government and governance, we would like to discuss on how the practical planning is dealing with stakeholders’ panarchies which are establishing themselves across administrative hierarchic systems and which planning formats may support local and regional resilience projects' implementations and processes. We do believe that such issues can better be grasp interdisciplinary, well knowing that this also bears some risks. Crossing these borders is what we would like to direct the attention to in the symposium.

Partners: UAR University Alliance Ruhr New York Office, TU Dortmund University Faculty of Spatial Planning, Emschergenossenschaft, Urban Research Network, University of Virginia, Rutgers University and many others

Organizer: Mona el Khafif, Jan Polívka, Christa Reicher, Peter Rosenbaum, Martin van der Pütten
Collaboration: Robin Chang, Nadine Mägdefrau
Contact: jan.polivka@tu-dortmund.de

The Program is awailable under www.staedtebauleitplanung.de

(By: mk)