Department für Geographie





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Co-designing Resilient Cities

Fachgebiet: Geographische Gesellschaft-Umwelt-Forschung
Gefördert durch: Deutsches Wissenschafts- und Innovationshaus Tokyo
Förderkennzeichen: S2012-P86-01

Projektwissenschaftler: , Mitsuo Uematsu, Gabriele Hufschmidt, Alexander Fekete

Laufzeit: 09/2012 - 11/2012
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The thematic focus of the workshop was targeting one of the most relevant current topics, not only for Japanese but for the international society: reducing vulnerability and increasing resilience to natural risks. Taking the Tōhoku earthquake, the devastating tsunami, and the Fuku­shima nuclear incident of 2011 as a descriptive recent example, disasters illustrate the highly complex patterns of risks, affecting various societal sectors, and thus the need for multidisciplinary and cross-sectoral approaches to mitigate future catastrophes. In particular with regard to natural risk assessment and disaster mitigation, various knowledge systems have emerged from long-term, human-environment systems learning. However, they operate almost in isolation and are not interlinked, although it is evident today that in order to understand and increase resilience to natural hazards all fields of societal knowledge must be harnessed. Rather than the lack of knowledge, the context for using knowledge and turning it into sustainable actions are critical issues.

The workshop aimed to discuss recent scientific developments on open knowledge systems, in which multiple societal actors jointly frame problems, generate socially-robust knowledge, and apply context-sensitive solutions. The selected participants bring diverse skills and expertise into the knowledge generating process in order to reach a common understanding of what the problems really are, which underlying drivers need to be tackled, and how solutions can be effectively applied. Aiming at co-designing problem-driven knowledge and applied solutions, the workshop takes into account the needs and constraints of each participant and offered a great opportunity to present, access and utilise the latest knowledge products and advanced networks. Furthermore, it laid the foundation for closer long-term partnerships, strengthens scientific and economic cooperation with international partners, and provides positive impacts with regard to visibility, advocacy, and credibility. Diverse expertise from different German research institutions were presented in a concerted effort to initiate an open knowledge system on urban disaster resilience, in which multiple societal actors jointly frame authentic problems, generate socially-robust knowledge, and apply context-sensitive solutions.

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