The 2022 Academy is co-organized by Leiden, Delft and Erasmus Universities (The LDE Alliance) from the Netherlands and the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) Indonesia. Aim of this five day-programme is co-creation in the field of teaching and research on sustainable urbanisation.
It also aims to facilitate and foster international research collaboration and to nurture academic capacity for those researchers studying urban transitions in the context of a developing country where changes are particularly pressing: Indonesia, one of the most rapidly urbanising nations in the world.
Cities have become a vital part of the human experience and are arguably the locus of future humankind. As spaces, cities, be they small-medium towns, peri-urban areas, or megacities, have (re)shaped the natural and built environment. Cities are also places, where people live and work, form social relations, and establish unique cultural, political, and economic identities.
Recently, as globalization has dissolved intercountry barriers, cities are also nodes in the global urban system that are interconnected through different flows, ranging from capital, goods, and knowledge to infectious diseases. These global flows are manifested in urban hubs such port city territories, where questions of space and place have created particular conditions of urban diversity.
The recent COVID-19 outbreak has acted as a tipping-point reminding us all of the pivotal role played by cities and their strategic position in an era of increasing uncertainty and complexity. That said, cities are not only the locus where the multiple impacts of COVID-19 have been most severe, but they also increasingly have become a fertile ground for a multitude of interventions that can be (re)configured and deployed to achieve a more sustainable future.
One important lesson gleaned from this global pandemic is that cities with more sustainable and resilience capacities (no matter how these concepts are defined) have handled the crisis much better, so far. Some types of cities, such as port cities have developed evolutionary resilience, to use a term coined by Simin Davoudi (2013), embedded in their institutions and built environment. Understanding these historic practices can help design more resilient futures in the face of contemporary urgencies, including climate change. Water-related transformations are particularly challenging for a country of islands.