Drs. H. Borst – Director Staff Deltacommissaris
‘Modern methods in today’s challenges’, a beautiful and relevant theme for the study tour of study association ConcepT. One of these current challenges is the preparation of the urban deltas in the world for the changing climate. Partly because of the knowledge and ability of our civil engineers we as the Netherlands have a long and strong tradition in our ‘cohabitation’ with water. A good knowledge of civil engineering was and is of importance as well at the realization of the Dutch Deltaprogram and the execution of the Delta decisions. We, as people from the Netherlands, have something to offer to the world with our knowledge. But we can also definitely learn something from the approach in other countries. It is therefore a good idea that a new generation of civil engineers looks beyond our own boarders and learn from the experience and approach in other countries.
H.W.J. Ovink – Special Envoy for International Water Affairs
The WEF’s Global Risks Perception Surveys showcase over again that future risks (climate change, water crises, biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse, extreme weather events, natural catastrophes, man made environmental catastrophes, etc) are increasing in frequency and impact. At the same time these risks show a clear and strong interdependency on a regional, most often urban scale. Although this increases the complexity of these risks and their impacts this is also the scale where we (mankind) can adapt to and mitigate these risks! This is where we can and must act.
This year’s WEF Report put the impact of Water Crises as #1 risk.Water is the global connecting task. Two billion people will be devastated by 2050, four billion in 2080 if we continue with our current practices. Of all worldwide disasters 90% is water-related. Global urbanization gives us growth, prosperity, emancipation and development opportunities, but climate change, sea level rise and increasing impacts of these risks put a lot of pressure on our cities, societies and citizens, on our economy and ecology. If we don’t act the system will collapse and then we are the victims of our own failure and missed opportunity.
Water is at the heart of this uncertain future, as stated in the facts above, it is through water that we feel the impact of climate change the most. Water is essential for our economy, our social and cultural well being. Water quality defines our economic and societal prosperity and water risks – too much or too little – define our societies’ vulnerability. Water is an urban matter, an asset if right, a severe risk if not. And while urbanization has this emancipatory capacity – women work and kids learn – it is the collective water issues that puts these urbanizing places at higher risk and thus stressing – again – the emancipatory curve. Water connects economy and ecology and on the urban regional scale we can adapt and mitigate and thus strengthen our cities and our communities world wide. We must act now, no time to waste!
M.C.J. van Pernis – President of the Dutch Royal Institute of Engineers
I can warmly recommend this initiative from study association ConcepT. The gaining of knowledge in countries with different cultures, different climates and different environmental requirements is always extraordinarily useful. As President of KIVI (Dutch Royal Institute of Engineers) we see on a daily basis the importance of technology in general and specifically civil engineering on our living environment. I wish the organizers an exceptionally useful study tour and strongly recommend participation in any form of the word.
Prof. dr. E. Brinksma – Rector Magnificus University of Twente
We live in a rapidly globalizing world. The working environment of our future graduates will be completely international. At the University of Twente we educate our students to become the Global citizens of tomorrow: professionals who work on solutions for the (global) challenges of the future and who are used to cooperating in an international context. For this, a broad view and an entrepreneurial attitude are essential. A study tour is an excellent opportunity to get acquainted with different cultures, gain inspiration and learn how problems are solved elsewhere. Therefore I support the initiative of the students of study association ConcepT – organizing a study tour to the United States – whole-heartedly. I am convinced that it will expand their knowledge and broaden their horizons.
G.O. van Veldhuizen – Mayor of Enschede