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All four of these institutes have expertise in monitoring and modelling certain urban environmental characteristics that affect the health of the population. However, to date the institutes have tended to operate on their own.The new Knowledge Centre will join research, knowledge and information systems in this field, and by doing so they will also profile the Utrecht region.'Clean surface water, plenty of drinking water, knowing in time where a flood threatens.
A clean environment is nothing short of a necessity.
It is common knowledge that unclean and filthy surroundings can breed disease-causing microorganisms galore.
Deltares now has a project in Bandung, a city of millions on the Indonesian island of Java.
'We are looking at how resourceful water management can decrease the chances of infectious diseases such as diarrhoea,' says Hans Gehrels.
For example, the city must be organised in such a way that people of all ages can walk or cycle with ease, while the city should remain accessible.
Water management forms an essential part of this: water features provide significant cooling in summer and contribute to relaxation, while transport by boat may even reduce the traffic on the road.'We draw up maps that indicate, for example, where rivers can flood,' says Deltares researcher Hans Gehrels.'Or maps that show where the water may contain foci of infection.' We spoke to Ronald Smetsers and Hans Gehrels in the Deltares building at De Uithof in Utrecht.Apart from RIVM and Deltares, the KNMI, TNO and Utrecht University are also partners.At the beginning of 2013 the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment asked these knowledge institutes to integrate their research to a greater extent.Three hundred people work there, with another 600 people working at Deltares in Delft.Smetsers and Gehrels belong to the group of five initiators of the Knowledge Centre on Healthy Urban Living, established in November 2013.However, we all seemed to have learned to turned deaf ears to anyone who mentions cleanliness out of sheer hopelessness.For those of you, who need more impetus to keep your surroundings clean, here are a few more reasons why you need to keep more than just If a place has flies, filth and foul stinks, can diseases be far behind?Because of climate changes such flooding is expected more frequently in many delta areas.Ronald Smetsers: 'The next step will then be an app that warns motorists real time.