03 september

The Dutch approach to resilience

At the end of August, the biennial International Disaster and Risk Conference (IDRC) took place in Davos, Switzerland. This year’s theme was: Integrative Risk Management – Towards Resilient Cities. Arnoud Molenaar, Chief Resilience Officer of Rotterdam, represented the Netherlands in conjunction with colleagues from the Ministry of Security and Justice.

Implementing resilience
An international audience of approximately 400 participants from the world of science, policy making, business, and politics were introduced to the Dutch and, more in particular, the Rotterdam resilience strategy. During the Implementing Resilience in a World of Interconnectedness and Emerging Challenges session, speakers from all over Europe, the United States, and Japan presented their approach.

The Japanese and the American approach
Japan has a long history of natural disasters and particularly earthquakes. The Japanese government focuses on policy adjustments aimed at creating a cultural shift among the Japanese population. Homes can be assessed for earthquake resilience and given a quality mark certificate, for instance. The American approach, on the other hand, typically emphasizes the community. An especially developed guidebook offers an approach to help communities improve resilience by prioritizing and allocating means to manage risks and threats.

The Dutch perspective
Paul Gelton (Ministry of Security and Justice) and Arnoud Molenaar (City of Rotterdam) presented the Dutch approach to implementing resilience. This approach is characterized by activities at an international, national, and local level. In an increasingly complex society, we are becoming more and more dependent on the vital infrastructure. The risks and threats that might lead to social disruption are growing in magnitude. Growing dependence and complexity contribute to the creation of new threats. In order to manage these risks, it is necessary to implement a comprehensive approach at various scale levels. In addition, the various levels should complement one another, as complexity is increasingly interwoven.

Rotterdam’s strategy
Subsequently, Arnoud Molenaar zoomed in on the Rotterdam Resilience Strategy. Rotterdam has been one of the 100 Resilient Cities of the Rockefeller Foundation since 2015. He pointed out the necessity of a comprehensive approach for the various key areas. Finally, a first step was taken towards the development of a Delta City programme to address the cyber challenge.

For more information about Rotterdam’s strategy, you are welcome to contact us!

Arnoud Molenaar

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