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3. Announcement: IGCS-Workshop on Urban Resilience 2 in Chennai from October 20 – 22

Urban Resilience 2: Coastal and River Management, Vulnerability and SustainabilityIGCS-Workshop 20.10.-23.10.2019, Chennai

In October 2017, we started a workshop series on Urban Resilience on coastal and river floods or extreme events affecting megacities and settlements in coastal low lands. More than 1.5 billion people are currently living within 100 km of the coastal zones of the Earth, especially in tropical and subtropical regions. And the number is still growing, due to economic and social attractiveness as large-scale urbanization and mega-city development within the coastal zone is expected to be more rapid than in other areas in the near future.

Almost all future scenarios of climate change and sea level rise point to a higher frequency of extreme weather and climate events in near future, and that this will reveal significant vulnerability and exposure of coastal cities to the current climate variability. Climate change also affects monsoonal patterns, which seem to cause an intensification of the seasonal rainfall that fortifies inundation/floodings/droughts in India regularly during the last years (e.g. 2015 Chennai, 2018 Kochi).

Besides the Indian coast is prone to tsunamis, as the Makran subduction zone may cause earthquakes and tsunamis affecting the Indian west coast, as e.g. in 1945. In 2004, the east coast has been affected by the Sumatra tsunami inducing landfall in the Tamil Nadu coast. Besides the primary destructive effects, the widespread contamination of coastal areas due to the pulsed transport of immense pollutant loads during the floodings may seriously affect the coastal ecosystems. This clearly affects increasing population and urbanization in particular along coastlines and urban or even critical infrastructure, as a consequence adaptation, decision analysis and governance of manifold administrational levels.

Therefore, our mutual Indian-German workshop organized by IGCS aims on discussion, knowledge exchange, and investigation of coastal hazards including toxic pollutants and their effects on urban resilience and health. We contribute knowledge on geoscientific and (geo)chemical issues, engineering and water management, as well as ecotoxicological aspects combined with cultural belongings on land use. During the workshop talks and discussions on these diverse topics are planned, covering topical sessions on

  • Urban and Coastal Resilience
  • Climate Change and Coastal/Riverine Flood Hazards
  • Bio- and Ecohazards
  • Social and Environmental Impacts, Adaption and Governance and its Dynamics


IIT Madras, Chennai, India


October 20 – 22 2019 (until October 25 incl. excursion to Pichavaran )


Interested scholars are welcome to apply. One-page abstracts for the workshop are due September 30. Talks will be 20 min plus 5 min discussion. Please direct your application to Dr. Anna Uffmann.

IGCS-Funding for participation for German scholars may be made available if the stay is combined with a research stay at IIT Madras beyond the workshop.