Exploring Water in the City; IIAS Fellows and Staff Outreach in Rotterdam
IIAS fellow and staff participated in an exciting outreach program in Rotterdam on Thursday, 6 April 2023. The theme of the day was "Water in the city," and the program included a boat tour of Rotterdam harbor to explore the nature and wildlife in this industrial area.
The tour was guided by Paul Rabé, coordinator of the UKNA program River Cities Network and 11 international students from the MSc in Urban Management and Development at IHS/Erasmus University Rotterdam, joined the group.
Participants took an in-depth look at the major industry in the harbor and its impact on the environment and the city's economy.
The group traveled by water taxi to Brienenoord Island in the river Nieuwe Maas, where the NGO ARK is working with the municipality of Rotterdam on a project focused on re-wilding the city. The project aims to reintroduce nature to the city in a way that benefits people, the environment, and the climate.
With the idea that the Netherlands deserves more nature, the NGO ARK has launched the Re-wilding project more than 30 years ago. This project seeks to restore the wildness of nature, which will prevent the extinction of species, reduce climate change, reduce flooding, and make the climate cleaner.
Re-wilding, as the project leaders say, is internationally recognized as an essential contribution to creating a sustainable and livable world for people and nature.
During lunch, Esther Blom, director of ARK Rewilding Netherlands (NGO) introduces the Re-wilding project, and talked briefly about the river as a tidal park and its connection to the work of the River Cities Network.
The group, then, walked around the island to learn more about this unique project and its efforts to re-wild the nature.