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JMSE Webinar | Floating Solutions for Addressing Climate Change Impacts on Coastal Cities

9 Feb 2023, 08:00 (CET)

Floating Solutions, Climate Change Impacts, Coastal Cities
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Welcome from the Chair

7th JMSE Webinar

Floating Solutions for Addressing Climate Change Impacts on Coastal Cities

Coastal cities are at the frontline of the climate change battle. Already we have seen sea level rises submerging low-lying city areas permanently or more frequent, heavy rainfall causing flash flooding and intense cyclones resulting in costly and devastating destruction to coastal livelihoods, infrastructure and property. So how can urban areas reduce or adapt to changing climate risks? In this webinar, we have Dr Rutger de Graaf-van Dinther to talk on “Land from water: technology, design and governance of climate resilient floating urban development” and Professor Joerg Baumeister to talk on “Urban Scenarios for Sea Level Rise”.

Please do join us for a deep discussion on this topic on adapting cities for climate resilience with our two speakers. Each speaker will have 25 minutes to speak followed by a Q&A session. The chair for this webinar is Professor Chien Ming Wang from the University of Queensland, Australia.

Date: 9 February 2023

Time: 8:00 am CET | 2:00 am EST | 3:00 pm CST Asia | 5:00 pm AEST

Webinar ID: 898 9222 7134

Webinar Secretariat:


School of Civil Engineering, The University of Queensland, Australia

Prof. C.M. Wang is Professor in Structural Engineering, The University of Queensland. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering, and a Fellow of Academy of Engineering Singapore. His research interests are in the areas of structural mechanics and floating structures. He is the Leader of the Offshore Engineering Program of the Blue Economy Cooperative Research Centre that conducts research projects that combine seafood, renewable energy and offshore engineering, underpinned by a $329 million grant from the Australian Government and industry partners over a 10-year period.

Invited Speakers

Blue21, The Netherlands

The concept of floating urban development as a potential response to the climate change impacts on coastal cities has gaining momentum in the past 10 to 15 years. In 2019, UN Deputy Secretary- General, Amina Mohammed stated that sustainable floating cities can offer solutions to climate change threats facing urban areas. This year, floating urban development was included as adaptation option in the IPCC report Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. Reasons that are often mentioned for floating urban developments are sea level rise and land subsidence, although global land scarcity might be even more urgent. Similarly, by implementing local and circular solutions of water and energy in floating developments, and by surrounding floating developments with floating algae and seaweed systems, floating developments can also contribute to reduce the CO2 levels in the atmosphere. In this lecture, Dr. Rutger de Graaf-van Dinther will elaborate on the design, technology and governance of floating urban development and illustrate this with different projects examples from various countries.
Rutger de Graaf-van Dinther is an entrepreneur and researcher with more than 15 years experience in climate resilient floating urban development. His mission is to provide floating city technology to hundreds of millions of people who are impacted by climate change and sealevel rise. This needs to happen during this century while achieving positive ecological and social impacts. With his companies DeltaSync and Blue21, the first stepping stones towards this mission already have been achieved with iconic floating construction projects including the Floating Pavilion Rotterdam and Floating Ecohomes, Harnaschpolder Delft, the Netherlands. More recently, Blue21 was design and technology partner in realizing the Innozowa floating solar project in collaboration with TU Delft. Currently, Blue21 is working on upscaling and mainstreaming floating city technology from 'proof of technology' to 'proof of scale'. This will establish an entirely new field of expertise called 'maritime urbanism' to enable the development of floating neighbourhoods and floating cities globally. Trained as civil engineer with a MSc and PhD (both finished cum laude) of Delft University of Technology, he expanded his knowledge in various additional fields of expertise resulting in peer-reviewed scientific publications in the fields of technology, sustainability and social sciences. Rutger has been consultant to the Dutch Delta Programme, Topsector Water, City of Rotterdam and international clients including from the USA and various countries in Asia and Europe.

"SeaCities Lab", Cities Research Institute, Griffith University, Australia

Predictions of up to 1.40m or more sea-level rise until 2100 should be taken very seriously, and these estimations are still developing upwards. This will change the coastal environment including many elements of coastal cities radically. Infrastructure, buildings, industry, and communities will have to be protected or cities must retreat. Two more concepts are perhaps even more promising: Implemented examples demonstrate that coastal cities can also accommodate or even advance onto the water. Which concepts should be applied to transform coastal cities? And who will take the decisions? The talk will present a guideline that considers both, concept selection and decision-making. The application of scenario planning techniques allows the development of various urban design proposals with respect to local conditions. Risk management is thereby not the primary perspective. On the opposite, the transformation of coastal cities can create more opportunities than threats. Therefore, the guideline is also a generator for new urban chances.
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Joerg Baumeister is leading the SeaCities Lab ( at the Cities Research Institute, Griffith University in Australia which develops and implements water-adapted urban solutions (aquacities) and floating structures (aquatecture). Its holistic research approach - which spans and includes the disciplines of engineering, architecture and environmental sciences - develops new concepts for building with and for nature and creating ecosystem-based developments that respond to the current challenges in an adaptive and compatible fashion. Joerg has been a practitioner, educator, and researcher for Architecture and Urban Design for more than 20 years throughout Europe, Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, Asia, and Australia. He is an award-winning architect and consults governmental institutions on the federal, state and regional levels, NGOs like UNHabitat, as well as companies like NEOM.

Webinar Content

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Time in CET

Time in AEST

Prof. Chien Ming Wang

Chair Introduction

8:00 - 8:10 am

5:00 - 5:10 pm

Dr. Rutger de Graaf-van Dinther

Land From Water: Technology, Design and Governance of Climate Resilient Floating Urban Development

8:10 - 8:35 am

5:10 - 5:35 pm

Prof. Joerg Baumeister

Urban Scenarios for Sea Level Rise

8:35 - 9:00 am

5:35 - 6:00 pm

Q&A Session

9:00 - 9:25 am

6:00 - 6:25 pm

Closing of Webinar
Prof. Chien Ming Wang

9:25 - 9:30 am

6:25 - 6:30 pm

For more information, please note the short descriptions of the planned talks in the "Speakers" section (by clicking on Details).

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