Erasmus University College, Rotterdam

Pressure Cooker

Institutional innovations and disruptions for mainstreaming climate adaptation in cities

Erasmus University College

Date:  Thursday 4 June 

Time:   9.30-16.30  

The issue at stake: mainstreaming climate adaptation in cities

Mainstreaming climate adaptation challenges existing urban governance systems to enable multifunctional, long-term, adaptive and inclusive solutions that produce ecological and social value and are synergetic with other functions and systems in a city. As cities worldwide already experiment with innovative climate adaptation measures, we can also see institutional innovations emerging that allow for such measures to materialise and scale. However, these institutional innovations still represent niches within mainstream urban governance contexts that are risk-averse, siloed, in which technological approaches are dominant and social diversity is poorly represented. A systematic perspective on the institutional innovations and disruptions needed for mainstreaming climate adaptation is lacking: what kind of institutional innovations and disruptions support climate adaptation mainstreaming, how can these be brought about, and what are the implications for urban governance?

Aims of the Pressure Cooker

The Pressure Cooker has three aims:

  • to define a state-of-the-art on the question of how to materialize institutional change to mainstream climate adaptation, including both institutional innovation and disruption.
  • to exchange knowledge between research groups and create networking opportunities
  • to develop a shared and forward-looking research agenda with practical insights on the next steps needed for mainstreaming climate adaptation in cities. The results could also be developed in a shared research paper.

Detailed information on the website

For whom?

Does your research focus on climate adaptation in cities? Do you explore institutional innovations and disruptions necessary for mainstreaming innovative approaches to climate adaptation? If your response to these questions is “yes”, we warmly invite you to join our symposium!

How to participate?

If you are interested in participating in the Pressure Cooker, please send a RSVP to Jannes Willems ( by March 31, 2020.
Please include a brief text (max. 150 words) in which you relate your research to the questions stated above. Contributors will be asked to prepare a pitch for the meeting. There is no admission fee and lunch will be provided.


The symposium is organised by dr. Jannes Willems & prof. dr. Arwin van Buuren from the Department of Public Administration & Sociology (Erasmus University Rotterdam) and dr. Katharina Hölscher & prof. dr. Derk Loorbach from DRIFT (Dutch Research Institute for Transitions),  in the context of two ongoing research projects: BEGIN and Connecting Nature  

Location: Erasmus University College


Dr. Jannes Willems,

Dr. Katharina Hölscher,