Delta system


Scientists involved: Bas Jonkman (TU Delft), Marion Koopmans (Erasmus MC), Frank van Oort (EUR), Herman Russchenberg (TU Delft)
Methodology leads: Nikki Brand (TU Delft) and Hub Zwart (EUR)

We are facing both short-term and long-term disruptive threats in a polycentric urban delta. How to converge knowledge of disciplines into an integrated understanding of systemic urban delta resilience?
Our program will focus on interactions or ‘system-relations’ between four of these subsystems:
• Emerging infectious diseases
• Regional economy
• Regional climate
• Infrastructure for flood risk and water management
For instance, viral threats are closely related to mobility, infrastructure, water management (including sewerage and surface water management), ecosystem, population, while local urban climate change and air pollution is closely connected with demographic developments and in turn affects susceptibility to viral threats, etc. We consider the urban delta, first and foremost, as a place where all subsystems are closely interconnected, and hints to how they are connected can be found in the geographical features of the territory. Our study will focus on acquiring a base-line for several sub-systems presented by our disciplines, and by identifying their interconnectedness or ‘system-relations’.
How are particular elements interrelated (infectious disease risk, water-infrastructures, regional climate and regional economy) in the urban delta system, and what are the trends, shocks and stresses and considered interventions?
The knowledge acquired within the Delta System theme is crucial for concerted action; interventions at the system-scale that move the resilience of the region forward as whole, and not at the cost of other parts of the system. We expect that the current state of practice is fragmented action. This is ultimately what convergence aims to overcome.

Pandemic and Disaster Preparedness Center
The current coronavirus crisis shows the multifactorial nature of a pandemic and its consequences. A virological focus is by far not sufficient to properly respond to such a crisis and prepare for the next one. The links between pathogens thriving and environment (temperature, humidity), between pathogen spreading and human behaviour, between measures taken and economy and well-being, and beyond pandemics, between climate and economic and societal disasters, can only be dealt with the combination of many disciplines and sources of knowledge. By its interdisciplinary approach aiming at understanding delta region as a multi-level system, the Resilient Delta/Delta System theme proposal provides unique input for better interventions and management of pandemics and various disasters.