Njabulo Ngcobo, School of Built Environment of the University of Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa

Njabulo Ngcobo

My general impression of the 2018 TU Delft summer school on “Planning and Design with Water for Sustainability” is that it was a well-organized and it was a successful project.  The summer school in TU Delft offered a conducive environment for the participants from 40 countries to share knowledge and apply the Dutch perspective (i.e. polder model) where relevant. There were also other examples and lessons shared by students, lecturers and guest speakers from different countries. Coming to the Netherlands for the summer school was also a unique chance for me to meet new friends and also to explore models of European urbanism and way of life.

The summer school also comprised site visits and excursions to Schevenengen, The Hague Municipality, and Rotterdam. This was very exciting as we got a chance to know more about Dutch history and culture. For instance, the opportunity to interact with the ordinary citizens at a grassroots level and also to observe water projects, among other things.

Regarding the quality of the presentations by the students, my general impression was that students were well prepared and they had sound ideas, highly creative, hands on, generally exceeding expectations. My general impression towards students is that they learned how to work in teams. Working with multidisciplinary teams (and sometimes with clashing ideas and cultures) was one of the things I hoped for.

I would like to emphasize getting your ideas and opinion in a respectful, humble, and creative manner when trying to forge understanding in groups consisting of multi- cultural and multidisciplinary environment.

From all the presentations in the summer school by the Lecturers and guest speakers, I also noted the following focus areas which are highly important to my career and direction in life:

  • Scenario planning catering for uncertainty
  • Multifunctional infrastructures (hard, soft, and green- blue)
  • Interconnected ecological places, good governance, and people-centred planning

Finally, I would like to thank everyone for humbleness and excellent support during the 2018 “Planning and Design with Water summer school”, TU Delft in the Netherlands. I wholeheartedly recommend this summer school to young built environment (and related fields) professionals in Africa and the world.

Njabulo Ngcobo, School of Built Environment of the University of Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa

This scholarship was sponsored by: