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Creating Resilient Cities

Do you want to contribute to a more resilient built environment and society? Would you like to work with Dutch and foreign students from different professional disciplines? Do you want to do comparative research in Rotterdam and another city in the world? Then this is the programme for you.  

‘City resilience describes the capacity of cities to function, so that the people living and working in cities – particularly the poor and vulnerable – survive and thrive no matter what stresses or shocks they encounter’. (source: City Resilience Framework, April 2014 (Updated December 2015) by the Rockefeller Foundation)

  • 100 Resilient Cities

During this programme you will work with the resilience strategy of the city of Rotterdam and the Framework of the Rockefeller foundation to do comparative research about a project in Rotterdam and in one of the other 100 resilient cities. ( )  

  • Comparative research and working abroad

Every project in Rotterdam is linked to a project abroad with a similar focus. By comparing the projects in the two cities you will create knowledge and will contribute to knowledge exchange within this network.  
You will work on a project that best suits your professional interest.  

  • Built environment

This programme focuses on the built environment which contains the professional domains of; architecture and building engineering, civil engineering, water management, urban and regional planning, facility management, logistics and economy and real estate management.  

  • Multi-perspective context

You will work in an international and multidisciplinary team. A different context and different culture calls for a different solution. A different mindset. Working in an international context helps you to broaden your horizon, to become more flexible, creative and open to new ideas.  

  • Facilitating change

You will strengthen your capacity to facilitate change towards resilient cities by taking own position towards resilience, steering your own professional development and fostering knowledge sharing and joint learning on resilience topics.

For more information see the international website  or follow our Instagram

Student Matties & coördinator Janneska were interviewed by the municipality of Rotterdam about the programme. Check out the interview.


During this programme you learn to:

  1. Applying acquired knowledge on resilience into a practical research project
  2. Be a critical and creative researcher by doing comparative research about a resiliency theme linked to your own field of expertise.
  3. Work together in a multi-perspective context (International, intercultural and multidisciplinary)
  4. Facilitate change towards resilient cities

Aanvullende informatie

Note that the two weeks pressure cooker is a mandatory part of the programme. There is no option for an alternative programme. 
Extra costs for travel expenses and residence abroad are estimated at about 
€ 450 - € 650 depending on the destination.
Please also note that extra personal expenses for meals, drinks and cost for public transport at your destination are not included in this calculation.


- You have obtained a minimum of 90 credit points from the main phase of your study programme. 
- Maximum 15 credits behind schedule in semester 3 and 4
- You have successfully completed your internship
- Required knowledge, three years of bachelor studies in a related field (Energy and Environment).
- Participants are international students and Dutch students in their 4th year.
- The programme requires a good (written and oral) command of English as all classes are conducted in this language


Course name + EC (credits)


Resilience theory 
3 ec

The minor starts with a broad theoretical base on resilience in which students will be offered theory on the resilience framework of the Rockefeller foundation and the resilience strategy of the city of Rotterdam. They will be introduced to multiple theories on resilience and resilient cities will search for alternative theories and narrow them down to what is applicable to their own research project.

Students will debate about resilience and write a position paper

Applied research project

15 ec

The applied research project is the heart of the minor and runs throughout the semester. Students will work a resilience issue in Rotterdam. The exact research question will be formulated by the students themselves, after consultation with lecturers in both cities, and must have a clear connection to the student’s expertise as well as being linked to the resilience framework.

Different research issues will have a different accents so students can use their own professional focus. After working on a project in Rotterdam the students will work with one of the partner cities in the 100 resilient cities network on a project with a similar topic. The research in the partner city will take place on site in the shape of a two week pressure cooker. Students will compare both cases and thus generate knowledge within the network of 100 resilient cities.

Project specific content

3 ec

Next to the broad theoretical framework on resilience, students will acquire project specific content and theory. Students will be challenged to look at the project from their own professional perspective and build a theoretical framework specific to the content of their research project cases.

Comparative applied research

2 ec

This training helps students to acquire theory on doing comparative and practical research to give them a head start for writing their research plan and to prepare them for doing comparative research both in Rotterdam and abroad.

Working in a multi- perspective context

3 ec

Students will be well prepared to cooperate in an international and intercultural context and in a multidisciplinary team. They will be offered theory, literature and training to be able to indicate and deal with emerging problems in cooperation. This course will also encompass (individual) coaching.

Facilitating change

4 ec

During minor you will work with the Rotterdam Resilience Strategy and the Framework of the Rockefeller Foundation to research possibilities for making cities more resilient. The capacity to steer your own learning process as well as facilitate joint learning is crucial to this. Therefor this module challenges you to approach learning as a strategy for making cities more resilient on three different levels:

  • On the individual level in order to strengthen your capacity to create innovative solutions
  • On the team-level as a way for co-creating knowledge related to research project
  • On the professional and societal level in order to share and create solutions related to resilience


Gaining experiences on all three levels of learning supports you in deepening your knowledge about resilience, in solving your applied research project and in exchanging approaches for making cities more resilient.


Indicative literature Resilience

-       City Resilience Framework, April 2014 (Updated December 2015) by the Rockefeller Foundation   
-       Rotterdam resilience strategy, ready for the 21st century, April 2016

-       City Resilience Index, ARUP & Rockefeller Foundation:



-       Planning the resilient city: Concepts and strategies for coping with climate change and environmental risk. Jabareen, Y. (2012). Retrieved from

-       Resilience Thinking: Sustaining Ecosystems and People in a Changing World. Walker, B. and Salt, D. (2006) Island Press, Washington DC.

-       The Resilience Dividend: Being Strong in a World Where Things Go Wrong, Judith Rodin, 2014, , Public Affairs. Profile Books, Ltd, London

Intercultural cooperation

-       Intercultural sensitivity, from denial to intercultural competence 
Auteur: Carlos Nunez Raya Nunez-Mahdi 
Co-auteur: L. Popma Laura Popma 
Engelstalig, ISBN 9789023255550, maart 2017

Vergelijkend onderzoek 
-       Introduction Research Methods, by Catherine Dawson (ISBN: 9781845283674)


This minor starts twice a year; in September and in February. The programme lasts for half a year, (a semester )