Monday, November 16, 2009

Dialogue between Tampa and Rotterdam on water and climate change

Dong-Phuong Nguyen in The University of South Florida's Patel Center for Global Solutions, in collaboration with the Hillsborough County City-County Planning Commission and the Dutch government, will host a second workshop in its "Dutch dialogue" on Wednesday, bringing together local and international water experts to prepare cities for the consequences of climate change.

…The dialogue is an outgrowth of USF's partnership with UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education in Delft, the Netherlands, the world's preeminent institution on water education and research. In 2007, USF became the first American university to sign a memorandum of understanding with IHE to collaborate on research and education.

"When people think about climate change, the first thing they think about is sea level rise," said Daniel Yeh, a research fellow at the Patel Center and USF assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering. "However, in addition to sea level rise, there is increased temperatures, irregular weather patterns, flooding – all those phenomena will wreak havoc on infrastructure. "We want people at all different levels to think about adaptation, about how can we prepare our infrastructure for the uncertainty that comes with climate change."

Speakers at Wednesday's event will include representatives of the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration, Tampa Bay Water, Tampa Electric, the Florida Department of Transportation and the Hillsborough County Planning and Growth Management, as well as the Royal Netherlands Embassy and Dutch consulting firm DHV BV.

The program draws on the geographical similarities between Tampa and Rotterdam, Europe's largest port. Florida and Holland have similar low-lying coastlines that are heavily urbanized, and vulnerable to storms, rising sea levels and increased risks of flooding….

A postcard c. 1920 (?) of Tampa, Florida, "Pub. by S. H. Kress & Co."

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