Programme Advisory Committee AIWW (PAC) Member Arjan van Timmeren,
A’dam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions (AMS) / Delft University of Technology.
‘The AIWW Conference brings together topnotch specialists in the field, and is to be considered among the three leading network and ‘solutions oriented’ events in the world.’ According to PAC member Arjan van Timmeren, this is the main reason why you must attend the AIWW Conference on 4 and 5 November in Amsterdam.
Being a great ambassador for our AIWW Conference we asked Arjan to give his view on the AIWW Conference 2019 themes and topics.
What made you decide to become a PAC member?
Water is an important topic for the world, and for me. It literally ‘knits all together’. Water is also simultaneously an omnipresent and hyper localized compound. From my background as full professor Environmental Technology & Design and besides that being Scientific Director of the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions (funded by TUD, MIT and WUR) my everyday practice strongly connects to challenges related to water. The AIWW Conference not only connects people and solutions to these challenges, it also sets the global agenda related to water.
What is your view on the AIWW Conference 2019 theme: Implementation of integrated solutions by cities, industries, utilities and financiers: from cases to bankable projects?
Cities are dense networks of interwoven socio-spatial processes that are simultaneously human, material, natural, discursive, cultural and organic and whose prosperity and robustness are dependent on the continuous metabolism of mineral, water and energy resources. Their double complexity (systems and human behaviour) and the interactions among several dynamic agents and their nestedness makes the boundaries of cities as complex systems fuzzy. Furthermore, a city is composed of “interactive components that may change their roles over time in unpredictable ways”: ecosystems contain co-evolving species and systems and follow unique evolution trajectories. Currently there are answers to the questions, however, the frameworks presently governing (metropolitan) solutions related to water are not at all times capable of ensuring accountability. As the pervasiveness, complexity, and scale of these systems grow, the lack of meaningful integrated solutions is an increasingly urgent concern.
What do you hope to take away from the AIWW Conference 2019?
Essential components of integrated solutions and the integration itself of both technical as well as social perspective related to the challenges regarding water, where the total sum of the technical and socio-economical processes that occur in cities, supports solutions to achieve growth, production of (renewable) water, but also addresses related resources like energy, elimination of waste, for the improvement of equity, sustainability and liveability in both developing as well as developed world.
Why should people attend the AIWW Conference?
Presently, society, and in particular cities are confronted with a number of increasingly unmanageable crises, from the triple threat of climate change, water scarcity and environmental degradation to the deterioration of water supply and sanitation networks which will soon require radical retrofitting and/or complete replacement. Our demands on the biosphere are growing at such exponential pace we have disrupted the dynamic equilibrium of the compound most integral to life. This is most apparent in the countries of the Global South, where billions living in slums still lack easy access to clean water.
The AIWW Conference brings together topnotch specialists in the field, and is to be considered among the three leading networking and ‘solutions orienting’ events in the world.