C3: Capacity Building for Climate Adaptation in North Rhine-Westphalia and Beyond

This post is part of our live blog series from the Resilient Cities 2015 congress. For more live blogs, please click here.

During Resilient Cities 2015, a range of tools for climate change adaption have been presented. One of those tools is e-learning. In this session, Ralf Osinski (Head of BEW Training Center on Utilities & Waste Management) presented one of the courses promoted by his company in the North Rhine-Westphalia region of Germany.

This specific course teaches participants how to manage climate-change related issues. It is divided into four modules that address the different aspects. Participants are told how to structure a project, going deeper into the climate adaption field and acquiring skills in data and cost-benefit analysis. Finally, participants can learn how best to communicate to citizens the decision that has been taken and to involve them in discussions about urban planning.

The course is now in its third edition, and every year it has involved participants with different backgrounds and competencies. Matthias Peck (Deputy Head of Environmental Affairs and Sustainable Development, MKULNV) highlighted how this kind of course seeks to cross borders between subjects, as interaction among people with different skills is at the basis of the training center’s concept.

A city has to face many challenges, especially with the increase in climate-related problems. Klaus Reuter (Director of the Landesarbeitsgemeinschaft Agenda 21 NRW) added that the BEW’s course helps participants to find solutions to the many scenarios that may emerge in cities. He said:

“We want to provide a basis for practical work. We try to collaborate with those who are aware of the real needs of their municipalities. Decisions are taken at a political level, but often politicians aren’t familiar with city’s problem. They need to be aware of how to take action, so they should also be a part of our audience. We need to train them”.

And so they did. Jasmin Konig (Environmental Officer at City of Datteln) explained how this course improved her daily work in her municipality. One area in Datteln had been occupied by a factory until 2008. Konig is managing a project for restoring the area. She is seeking to recover the land and revaluate it, as it is important to reuse existing buildings rather than building on new green space. In doing so, she affirmed:

“The course is well structured and personally in my daily work I apply all that I have learned during the course”.

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