‘I particularly like the way REACHOUT is designed in working with the city stakeholders and the liaisons,’ shares Gaby Langendijk (Deltares) in our latest interview.

The REACHOUT series of interviews aim at collecting more personal views from colleagues developing and applying climate services for urban adaptation and resilient development, get more insight on the state of knowledge, the main ongoing discourse, and get a more concrete view of what their work encompasses. A sneak peek, so to say, behind the jargon and throbbing sentences used in policy documents and research proposals. Throughout the project, team members will complete a round of interviews. One colleague will interview another, and the interviewed colleague then conducts the following interview of the next team member and so on. As each member interviews and gets interviewed in this manner, all topics will be covered over the duration of this project. Read our latest interview with Denise McCullagh, liaison for City Hub Cork and Post-Doctoral Researcher at our REACHOUT partner UCC interviewing Gaby Langendijk, Climate Scientist at Deltares and member of the REACHOUT Coordination Team. 

‘I enjoy many of the interesting discussions and work about tailoring climate services, defining “ambition”, and pathways.’

As a member of the REACHOUT Coordination Team, can you tell me about what your experience of this has been like in the REACHOUT consortium? ‘Deltares is coordinating the project together with CAS (Climate Adaptation Services). To be closely connected to the coordination of an entire EU Horizon project has been an insightful experience until now for me. Besides the scientific research I am conducting about climate resilient development pathways, I simultaneously gain knowledge about the wider context of coordinating an EU project. For instance, I am often part of the weekly coordination meetings, as well as some of the aspects concerning reviewing deliverables or communication with advisory board members.’

How important do you think in-person meetings are in projects that involve co-creation/co-development? ‘Since COVID a lot more meetings are conducted online, which I very much support as it reduces greenhouse gas emissions of mainly air travel. Nevertheless, for building trust, getting to know partners well, and for in-depth exchanges about tool co-development, it is critical to have in-person meetings from time to time. The annual co-creation workshops in the city hubs have been instrumental for the co-development process in the REACHOUT project. For Cork, we are now doing a mixture between in-person and online meetings. We had the annual city hub workshop in February in Cork and now we started a smaller working group of city council members that we meet every few months online. A balance between both in-person and online meetings is the way to go. And if there is an in-person meeting, try taking the train 😉.’

Were there any unexpected challenges you encountered in the REACHOUT project? ‘Although not fully unexpected, starting in the midst of a running project was challenging. I joined REACHOUT after the project was already on-going for about 1,5 years. There was some backlog at Deltares due to several staff turnovers, so I had to get up to speed quickly. Certainly, it took me some time and effort understanding what happened in the project previously and what the key tasks ahead were. Nevertheless, I felt very welcomed in the project, and the project partners made it easy to get the hang of it – even quicker than expected. I also joined the ECCA conference in Dublin directly after I started, where I met many people engaged in REACHOUT, which embedded me well in the project.’

For you, what is the highlight of the REACHOUT project so far? ‘The REACHOUT project has been a very positive experience until now. I particularly like the way it is designed with respect to working with the city stakeholders and the liaisons. Furthermore, I enjoy many of the interesting discussions and work about tailoring climate services, defining “ambition”, and pathways. If I can choose a particular moment that stood out as a highlight, I would pick the General Assembly in Athens, and particularly the last session where Ad Jeuken just sat down behind the piano and we were all singing “Reach out” [I’ll be there] (Four Tops).’

And last but not least, who would you like to hear from next? ‘I would like to ask Leon Kapetas – our REACHOUT partner from Resilient Cities Network (RCN) – to tell us about his work.’

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The climate story of Gdynia​

Short summary: A story about Jan and Maria during extreme precipitation.

Theme: Flooding

End user: Citizens

Link to the story: under construction