August 3, 2021

Strengthening preparedness regarding heavy rain, floods and disaster

Expert comments of Professor Jörn Birkmann in interviews

Since the devastating destruction caused by heavy rain on the 15th July 2021, Professor Jörn Birkmann's research and expertise on extreme events, emerging risks  and potential actions for strengthening adaptation and risk reduction  have also been in the focus of the media, i.e. TV and radio stations (including ZDF, ARD, SWR, rbb) and newspapers. In the ZDF special on the flood disaster on 15th July 2021, he responded toquestions on extreme precipitation as well as private and governmental precautionary measures, including strategic spatial and urban planning. The topic of critical infrastructures was also discussed. In ARD Brennpunkt, SWR Extra and ARD Morgenmagazin, Professor Birkmann's assessment as a risk researcher as well as the challenges of early warning systems were the core focus of the interviews (see below). The questions 'How can we better prepare societies and cities for such extreme events' and 'How can precautionary measures and new protection standards against heavy precipitation and other extreme events be implemented and prioritised' were also discussed. In radio interviews - including SWR 2 Forum, rbb and Inforadio (see below) - the connections between climate change, pandemics, heat stress and resilience were addressed. In an interview with the Stuttgarter Zeitung (16th July 2021), Professor Birkmann explained the concept of the sponge city.

Further information and links to the interviews below

See the interviews

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