Roundtable Workshop of SURE Funding Priority Representatives together with Representatives of Phnom Penh City Administration

On 29 October 2023, representatives of the the SURE funding priority met with representatives of Phnom Penh City Administration at Phnom Penh City Hall.

The German delegation was led by Dr. Verena Hebbecker, Deputy Head of Division 723 „Global Change, Climate Research“ at the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and coordinator of the Funding Priority SURE – Sustainable Development of Urban Regions. She was accompanied by Dr. Heike Bauer from the DLR Project Management Agency who is project management coordinator of the SURE funding priority. They were joined by Prof. Dr. Rainer Nönning, head of the Digital City Science Lab at the HafenCity University of Hamburg, and one of the coordinators of the SURE Facilitation and Synthesis Project.

Furthermore, representatives of two SURE projects took part, among them Dr. Michael Waibel, leader of the Build4People collaborative project, Hamburg University, and Dr. Bernd Gutterer, leader of the PolyUrbanWaters project, BORDA e.V Bremen.

The Phnom Penh City Administration was represented by Mr. Sor Phara, Deputy Director of Urban Planning Division, PPCH and Mr. Phanin Cheam, Vice-Head Urban Management Division of PPCH and staff of the Office for International Relations of PPCH.

Furthermore, the meeting was joined by Prof Dr Tep Makathy, Dean of Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning, Paññāsāstra University of Cambodia, and General Director of Cambodian Institute of Urban Studies, Project management partner of the two SURE projects PolyUrbanWaters and Build4People.

At the beginning of the meeting Dr. Verena Hebbecker explained the rationale behind SURE funding priority, which currently supports ten collaborative projects in Southeast Asia and China. These projects are trying to develop locally implementable solution strategies for the sustainable use of resources and an improved quality of life in urban regions. Thereby, the focus lies on the development and testing of concepts for a sustainable transformation of fast-growing urban regions as, for example, done by means of the Ecocity Transition Lab approach within the Build4People project.

Her input was followed by further presentations from Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jörg Rainer Noennig, Dr. Bernd Gutterer and Dr. Michael Waibel.

After this, there was an open exchange and discussion moderated by Dr. Anke Blöbaum, Leader of Build4People WP#1 “Behaviour Change”, Magdeburg University, Germany. It showed, among others, that from the side of Phnom Penh City Administration, there was interest in the topic of water-sensitive urban management and consequently, it was discussed how to integrate the valuable expertise from PolyUrbanWaters into the upcoming Build4People Ecocity Transition Lab.

Finally, Prof. Dr. Tep Makathy draw his conclusions and presented ideas for joint next steps.