Interdisciplinary Research Program – TUDelft Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment
NEW Climate—Resilient Cities (CRC) MSc Specialisation

New MSc Specialisation between IHE Delft Institute for Water Education, IHS Erasmus University Rotterdam and TU Delft (Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, Delta Urbanism)




Start: 21 October 2021
Application deadline: 01 August 2021


Led by: Chris Zevenbergen, c.zevenbergen[at]


dr. Fransje Hooimeijer, F.L.Hooimeijer[at] Taneha Kuzniecow Bacchin, T.Bacchin[at]

Apply Now for 2020


Image credit: Rob Engelaar/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
Retrieved from New York Times:


Globally, cities are increasingly under pressure as they have to adapt to rapidly changing socio-economic and environmental conditions.  Cities will become increasingly vulnerable to water-related hazards such as flooding, water shortages and water pollution.
As a consequence, cities have to adapt to become more resilient to deal with emerging issues and associated uncertainties around drivers such as climate change, social inclusion, aging infrastructure, financing and pressures on cultural heritage.
On the other hand, cities also have an enormous potential to learn, to mobilize resources and to respond adequately to dampen the impacts of catastrophic events. An actual example is how cities are responding to COVID-19 using ‘real-time’ experiences from their peer cities. The ability of cities to effectively engage in urban networks is playing a vital role here and is becoming increasingly more important as the dynamics of the drivers mentioned above are increasing. Peer learning involves individuals exchanging knowledge and experiences with one another. It also means transferring this learning back to their organizations to ensure an impact. Hence it is a collective learning process involving engagement through individual learning to organizational learning.
The above calls for a new generation of urban professionals who have a “T-shaped” competency profile, with a combination of generalist and specialist skills.

For whom?

Climate-Resilient Cities (CRC) MSc Specialisation targets young professionals in city governments who aspire to enrol in a life-long learning trajectory starting in Delft, and who after graduation will continue to ‘learn on the job’ in their city to strengthen the in-city capacities to build resilience and lead change. The MSc program is an international, interdisciplinary, immersive and accredited program offered by IHE Delft in partnership with TUDelft and IHS/Erasmus University Rotterdam and developed in joint collaboration with the City of Rotterdam and the Global Centre on Adaptation.




Learning objectives

After the program students will be able to:

  • Apply systems thinking and analysis to cities, with an emphasis on water.
  • Identify the links between the urban water cycle, urban management and governance, and urban design processes.
  • Work with a range of tools and methodologies to effectively co-discover, co-learn and co-design with both professionals and broader stakeholders, including non-specialists.
  • Achieve greater self-awareness of how to lead change in cities.




Structure & Content

The program is open to young professionals with a few years working experience in cities coming from different backgrounds (climate science; geography; engineering; architecture; planning; social studies; ICT). They aspire to acquire theoretical and practical knowledge from diverse disciplines (such as (urban) system analysis, planning, design, engineering and governance) and develop key competencies in relevant sectors linked to water and climate adaptation actions in cities. Hence, the educational methodology aims at combining a strong theoretical background with practical skills and team-building and leadership capacities to effectively engage with the variety of actors involved in urban transformation processes. Core elements of the program include academic courses, group work (design sessions), excursions, exams, and a written master thesis.

The approach is based on two pillars: 1) theory-based disciplines and research and design-based learning methods in which the specific areas of expertise are provided by IHE, TUDelft, and IHS/Erasmus University Rotterdam; and 2) application of the acquired methods to co-develop/design strategies and technical solutions together with local stakeholders and communities through a close interaction and knowledge exchange in response to relevant identified urban challenges.

Key expected results and impacts include the dissemination of the intellectual outputs to the cities and the formation of a CRC alumni network, which is linked to the Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) and intended as a peer learning platform to support GRCN cities.

The maximum number of students is 20 per year. The language of instruction is English. The program takes place partly in Delft, partly in student’s home city, and partly online. The program has a duration of 18 months (120 ECTS) in the period 2021-2023.





Students who successfully completed this programme will be awarded with an MSc degree in Water Science and Engineering with specialization in Sustainable Urban Water Management.