The 25th Wetskills Water Challenge recently took place in Bucharest. It is an event for Dutch and Romanian students and young professionals with a passion for water. Five teams were challenged to work on solutions for water problems in Romania. The team dealing with the case ‘Climate effects on the city: heat stress’, supervised by Tauw and Hanzehogeschool (Hanze University of Applied Sciences) Groningen, emerged as the winner.
The winning team made use of the Tauw heat stress map. It shows where extreme heat can occur in cities on very hot days and where you can take measures. The team recorded the effects based on data from local participants and interviews supervised by Floris Boogaard (Tauw/Hanzehogeschool Groningen ‘Climate in the city’ international projects), Jeroen Kluck (Tauw heat stress expert/Amsterdam Hogeschool) and Paul van der Wal (maker of the Tauw heat stress map).
The case showed that heat stress is experienced as a problem in Romania, and that awareness of the issue as well as mutual cooperation are essential when tackling this. The team designed a smart phone app that charts both problem locations and possible solutions to stimulate climate adaptation in Bucharest and other cities.
Assessment of the jury
The jury assessed the winning team as follows: “We chose a team with a market ready, feasible and flexible solution. Due to climate change, extreme weather events are becoming more frequent. For Bucharest this has consequences such as heat stress and flooding. Our case owner asked for a multifunctional method for risk assessment and mitigation. The core of our solution is a game based app that stimulates citizens in a fun way to collect relevant data on which adaptive solutions can be based. Based on input from other cities in Europe, the app will also show possible solutions.”