Healthy and sustainable future

What effect will the corona crisis have on our future?

That the coronacrisis is having an impact on our way of life can be felt by everyone right now. However, the coronavirus does not only have an impact on our way of life today, but also on our future. What do these viruses mean for the way we build healthy and sustainable cities? And what can we learn from dealing with the corona crisis, for how we deal with the climate crisis? Our scientists provide answers.

What influence does the climate have on the coronavirus?

Roel Vermeulen, environmental epidemiologist

Roel Vermeulen tegen een rode achtergrond

"In Brabant, as in the north of Italy, the air quality is relatively poor. And both Brabant and northern Italy have been severely affected by the pandemic. So the link between air quality and the coronavirus was quickly established. However, it is still too early for such statements. "

Expertise: air quality | environmental epidemiology | (Twitter) @vrmlnroel

What impact does the corona crisis have on the climate?

Detlef van Vuuren, professor Geosciences

"The corona crisis will lead in the short term to a substantial reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, but major transformations are needed to reduce emissions structurally". 

Expertise: Climate change
Contact: +316 11 956 | (Twitter) @DetlefvanVuuren

Peter Bijl, climate researcher

"In the corona crisis, it was immediately clear that it was serious because the government was taking measures. The moment the government doesn't do as it did with the climate crisis, the idea emerges that nothing is wrong".

Expertise: climate development
In the mediaThe Pliocene is the Wuhan of the climate crisis
Contact: +31 644974474 | | (Twitter) @peterbijlWilkes​

Guus Velders, professor air quality

"As a result of the corona crisis, air quality in the Netherlands is no better than in previous years, but without the measures the concentration would have been even higher."

Expertise: air quality | climate action
Contact: +31 30 253 3275 | | (Twitter) @GuusVelders​

What effect can the corona crisis have on a sustainable policy?

Rens van Tilburg, director Sustainable Finance Lab

Rens van Tilburg

"The government's aim is to pick up the thread as soon as possible. They're aimed at preserving what we have. But do we want to keep it or should we link the actions to the transitions we've been working on?"

Expertise: sustainable transition
Contact: | (Twitter) @RensvanTilburg

Sanne Akerboom, research energy transitions

Sanne Akerboom

"For a sustainable future, we currently have a better package of government measures than during the 2008/2009 crisis. This time we are focusing on green recovery and not just on recovery."

Expertise: energy transitions | (Twitter) @SanneAkerboom

Johan Schot, professor sustainable transitions

"The corona crisis questions our current way of doing things and creates opportunities for alternative ways of doing things because they become more relevant."

Expertise: system change | innovation policy
In de media: conversations on COVID-19: consequences for the second deep transition and the sustainability revolution
Contact: +31 639194545 |

Mark Sanders, senior lecturer on sustainable economic growth

Mark Sanders

"After Corona, let's be fully committed to investing in energy networks, sustainable generation, electric driving and more of all that beauty. If we're going to spend billions, we'd rather not spend it on yesterday's fossil economy."

Expertise: sustainable economic growth

What lessons for a healthy future can we learn from the corona crisis?

Karlijn van den Broek, environmental psychology researcher

Karlijn van den Broek

"Individual behavior is crucial to contain a crisis. Yet people often think that their environmental behaviour makes no difference because they are just an individual. But like the coronavirus, environmental behavior can be contagious."

Expertise: environmental psychology 
Contact: | (Twitter) @DrKarlijn

Maarten Hajer, professor Urban Futures

"The corona crisis may cause us to do what we've already had to do." 

Expertise: healthy urban living | climate change
In the media: Sustainability in times of corona ​
Contact: +31 30 253 5426 | | (Twitter) @maartenhajer