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Critical Urban Infrastructures (CI)

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Critical Urban Infrastructure – Identifying and assessing smart and green solutions for efficient disaster-risk resilience

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Developing and emerging economies like parts of South Asia and Africa are particularly vulnerable to extreme events which directly or indirectly impact the progress made towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals, Paris Agreement and other national and international agendas set to deal with impacts of climate change. Countries like India, Madagascar and Philippines are amongst the top 5 most vulnerable countries in terms of Global Climate Risk Index in 2018. Residual loss and damages due to climate impacts globally require nearly USD 290 billion to 580 billion in 2030 globally (Global Risk Index, 2020). Since most of these impacts contribute to vulnerability of critical infrastructure and any kind of problems leading to the disruption of its functionality produces cascading effects on socioeconomic and other infrastructural systems, it is a priority area of intervention in making human settlements, in particular cities and city-regions fit to climate change.

Critical infrastructures are assets supplying or supporting basic services in local, regional, national or global levels. Problems disrupting the functionality of such assets produce cascading effects on other infrastructures and general socioeconomic systems. Transportation, internet and sanitation infrastructures are part of such infrastructures which are often at risk with unprecedented impact on other systems. Since the 1990s, natural, manmade and terrorism related risks have been the focus of national infrastructure protection policies worldwide. In particular, web dependency of infrastructure systems in industrialized nations has increased the risk that several infrastructural systems are facing. Hence, governments have developed list of critical infrastructure (CI) based on their vulnerability and effect on socioeconomic and other systems of daily life. Development of centralized transport systems and digitalization of banking and business activities in the Global South are posing additional risks with unprecedented cascading effects. Despite the attempt to provide laws which facilitates the identification and protection of CI, the focus is, in most cases, limited to digital and power supply facilities. In most countries of the Global South, planning and managing such infrastructures are not properly linked to risk management and adequate resources which are required to counter act on potential risks and disaster situations.

Therefore, the campus discusses around two principal questions: how to identify and assess CI and how far risks related to climate change impact the resilience of such infrastructures?


6th May 2021: Introduction of the campus - Critical Urban Infrastructure (CI) – Identifying and assessing smart and green solutions for efficient disaster-risk resilience

  • Guest speakers: Prof. Dr. Stefan Greiving (TU Dortmund University, Germany); Prof. Hubert Klumpner (ETH Zurich, Switzerland); Dr. K. J. Ramesh (National Commission for Monitoring Pollution, India)
  • Panellists: Dr. Du Juan (TU Dortmund University, Germany), Dr. Nadine Appelhans (TU Berlin), Ms. Alyssa Weskamp (Drees&Sommer Switzerland-Integrated Urban Solutions)

27th May 2021: Actual issues of disaster risk and infrastructure management in selected countries of Global South

  • Guest speakers: Prof. Dr. Sophie Schramm (TU Dortmund University, Germany); Prof. Dr. Ally Hassan Namangaya (Ardhi University, Tanzania), Dr. Haris Piplas (Drees&Sommer Integrated Urban Solutions, Switzerland)
  • Panellists: Dr. Christiane Gebhardt (Drees&Sommer-Integrated Urban Solutions, Switzerland); Dr. Poonam Sharma(Centre for Disaster Management Studies, University of Delhi, New Delhi , India); Mr. Francis Dakyaga (Department of local governance and city management at SD Dombo University of Business and Integrated Development Studies, Ghana)

Side event | Critical Infrastructure: Water Resource Management

From 1:00 to 14:00 PM (4:30 to 5:30 PM IST)

  • Moderator: Ms. Meesha Tandon (VP, SuAP Foundation and Consultant)
  • Panellists: Prof. Dr Meenakshi Dhote, Head of Department, Environmental Planning Department, School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi; Prof. Dr. Nadeem Khalil, Environmental Engineering and Energy Systems, AMU, Aligarh; Mr. Harshad Dhande, Principal, Water, Taru Leading Edge

24th June 2021: Scenario planning method and application in disaster risk and management of CI

  • Guest speakers: Prof. em. Einhard Schmidt-Kallert, Dr. Mark Fleischhauer, Ms. Wiriya Puntub (Institute for Spatial Planning, TU Dortmund University, Germany)
  • Panellists: Meesha Tandon (Sustainability and Adaptation Planning Foundation, India), Dr. Haris Piplas (Drees&Sommer Integrated Urban Solutions, Switzerland)
  • Moderation: Dr. Genet Alem, (International Planning Studies, TU Dortmund University, Germany)

22nd July: Wrap up and closing remarks

  • Moderation: Dr. Genet Alem (TU Dortmund University, Germany)
  • Panellists: Dr. Du Juan (TU Dortmund University, Germany), Meesha Tandon (Sustainability and Adaptation Planning Foundation); Dr. Haris Piplas (Drees&Sommer Switzerland-Integrated Urban Solutions); Dr. Poonam Sharma(Centre for Disaster Management Studies, University of Delhi, New Delhi , India)


  • P4CA - Planners for Climate Action, UN-HABITAT
  • IRPUD - Institute for Spatial Planning, TU Dortmund University, Germany (Dr.-Ing. Genet Alem)
  • Drees&Sommer Switzerland-Integrated Urban Solutions, Zurich, Switzerland, (Dr. Haris Piplas)
  • Sustainability and Adaptation Planning Foundation, New Delhi, India (Ms. Meesha Tandon)
  • Centre for Disaster Management Studies, Shaheed Bhagat Singh College, University of Delhi, New Delhi , India (Dr. Poonam Sharma)


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Organiser IRPUD - Institue for Spatial Planning, TU Dortmund

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