From Acccra to Rotterdam

From Acccra to Rotterdam

Written by Mark Swilling on 2014-06-29 08:47:34

Eve and I recently returned from a trip to Accra and Rotterdam. The purpose of our visit to Accra was to meet with our University partners in the Africa Climate Change Adaptation Initiative (ACCAI) funded by the Open Society Foundation. Hosted by the University of Ghana, this two-day meeting reviewed progress made at the various campuses setting up new masters programmes in climate change adaptation over the past few years. Building on this foundation it was resolved to focus future collaborations on food systems research and change. This is consistent with the focus of the African Union funded network that involves the same partners, plus others. The core ACCAI partners include University of Ghana, University of Nigeria Nsukka, Mekelle University in Ethiopia, University of the Witwatersrand and University of Dar es Salaam, plus Stellenbosch University. Besides familiarizing ourselves with Accra as a city, we also visited Agbobloshi - a plastics recycling centre run by informal operators that Green Cross Switzerland recently nominated as one of ten most polluted places on the planet.

After Accra we travelled to Rotterdam where we were hosted by Prof Maarten Hajer, head of The Netherlands Environment Agency. The purpose of this visit was to participate in a public discussion that formed part of the International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam exhibition on the theme Urban by Nature. For a video report and talk by Maarten Hajer, click HERE.

For a copy of the talk click HERE and for video clip click HERE.

The other presenters included:

Philip Rhode from LSE Cities

John Urry from Lancaster University 

The panel participants plus Eve and researchers from The Netherlands Environment Agency had a formal meeting the following day to discuss the new research project that Maarten Hajer and I are leading for the International Resource Panel on the resource requirements of future urbanization.