Episode 21: Looking back, Looking forward. 10 years of urban resilience featuring Rotterdam

Jun 2024

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About This Episode

Set in the context of our 10-year celebration of urban resilience around the world, Arnoud Molenaar is hosted by Paul Wilson in this candid conversation about the evolution of the resilience practice in Rotterdam. Arnoud shares insights from his journey as one of the first Chief Resilience Officers to be appointed under the 100RC program and highlights from his work so far. He speaks about the collaboration with other cities in the Resilient Cities Network, ongoing projects and his aspirations for the next decade of urban resilience.

The Speakers

Arnoud Molenaar

Arnoud Molenaar

Paul Wilson

Paul Wilson

About Arnoud Molenaar

Arnoud Molenaar is the Chief Resilience Officer of the City of Rotterdam. After attending the University of Utrecht and graduating with a degree in physical geography, he started his career with several ambitious trainee posts and jobs in France, New Zealand and the Netherlands. As deputy head of the Rotterdam Water Management Department he was responsible for Rotterdam’s urban water management and the Waterplan2. In 2008 he was appointed manager of the ambitious Rotterdam Climate Proof program.

In this context he initiated the international Connecting Delta Cities network as part of the C40, became regional coordinator within the Dutch research program Knowledge for Climate and was responsible for the design and implementation of the Rotterdam Adaptation Strategy.

He successfully led the City of Rotterdam towards a leading position on innovative urban water management and climate adaptation, which resulted in 2013 in an European Peer City status. Arnoud is first editor of the third Connecting Delta Cities book Resilient Cities and Climate Adaptation Strategies, which was launched early 2014. He also was member of the Steering Committee of the international conference Deltas in Times of Climate Change 2014.

In September 2014 he was appointed Chief Resilience Officer of the City of Rotterdam supported by the Rockefeller Foundation. In 2016 he launched the Rotterdam Resilience Strategy and in 2022 he launched an updated Rotterdam Resilience Strategy. Under his leadership, the Global Center of Excellence for Climate Adaptation was launched in Rotterdam. 

About Paul Wilson

Paul Wilson is the Chair of the SmartCitiesWorld Advisory Board, and Chief Business Officer for the Connected Places Catapult. Paul has more than 25 years’ international leadership, sales and marketing experience in the B2B Technology Media Telecom sector, including being CMO of global digital transformation association TM Forum and $3bn SunGard Financial Systems.

After running the West of England LEP, Paul set up the multi-award-winning Bristol Is Open smart city project in 2014 and created the widely endorsed City as a Platform Manifesto a couple of years later. He went on to advise the UK Government on the design of its 5G Testbeds & Trials programme, and more recently on how the programme should evolve. He is an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Bristol’s Smart Internet Lab.

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