Seminar Urbanizing Deltas on Tipping Points

On 1 July 2019 Farhana Ahmed from Bangladesh successfully defended her PhD thesis: ' Are the Urbanizing Deltas on Tipping Points?' Members of the committee and others interested in this topic, gathered for a mini seminar on the same topic, in the afternoon of the same day, and discussed in more detail, as well as the next step on urban adaptation tipping points. This mini seminar was organized by Vrije University Amsterdam, CEGIS and Wageningen University and Research in cooperation with Delta Alliance.

Program Schedule of the Seminar  

15.30 Welcome by Farhana Ahmed, Vrije University Amsterdam and CEGIS; and Catharien Terwisscha van Scheltinga, Wageningen University and Research (moderator).

Group 1: Reflection of Urban Flood Management in a Developing Country Context (linked to topic 1 and 2 of the PhD thesis)

15.40  Prof. M Shah Alam Khan, Institute of Water and Flood Management, BUET
15.55  Prof. Eelco van Beek, Deltares
16.10  Discussions

Group 2: Integrated Tipping Points of the Socio-physical Settings for Urban Flood Resilience (linking to topic 3 of the PhD thesis)

16.20  Dr. Jeroen Warner, Wageningen University and Research
16.35  Dr. Derek Clarke, University of Southampton
16.40  Discussions

Group 3: Next steps towards Adaptive Management of Flood Risks in Urbanizing Deltas
(linking to topic 4 of the PhD thesis)

16.50  Dr. Saskia E. Werners, Wageningen University and Research
17.05  Discussions
17.20  Summary and Concluding Remarks, Prof. Dr. Eddy Moors, Vrije University Amsterdam

Reflection from Professor Dr Eddy Moors (IHE Delft Institute for Water Education): 'From the presentations it was clear that political will is one of the main pillars to assure implementation. However, how can we create political will if we cannot provide black and white choices? There is no one size fits all solution. For example expected and unexpected events often lead to different perspectives on risks. This combined with self-delusion makes creating political will quite a challenge. Is, reducing uncertainty by improving our modelling capacity and approaches the way forward? Pathways with characteristics such as flexibility to prevent lock in situations maybe a better choice. Are we presently living in the age of certainty (cf. all insurances) and as a society not accepting uncertainty? How much uncertainty can we handle? Should we as a climate community not engage more with philosophers to rethink the future?'

Contact persons
Farhana Ahmed, VU and CEGIS (farhana.ahmd(at)
Catharien Terwisscha van Scheltinga, WUR (catharien.terwisscha(at)


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