Rotterdam Brooklyn Waterfront Exchange

The City of Rotterdam and the Port Authority of New York/New Jersey started collaborating in 2010, following the H2O9 Conference in New York City in September 2009. Read the latest update on the efforts to exchange best practices in sustainable waterfront communities.

Concept summary BRWX, screenshot

Greater New Orleans Urban Water Plan

Greater New Orleans, Inc. and the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Washington, D.C. developed the Greater New Orleans Urban Water Plan iPad app to tell the public about how the plan will decrease flooding and increase quality of life in Southeast Louisiana.

Developed over a 30-month process in conjunction with a team of Dutch and local experts led by Waggonner and Ball Architects, the Urban Water Plan addresses problems with the region’s water management system in an innovative way that will directly confront the effects of negative effects of storm-water, nuisance street flooding, and damage to roads and other infrastructure regularly impacted by subsidence.

The plan won the American Planning Association’s Environmental Planning Excellence Award during its 2015 conference in Seattle. Watch this short video about the plan: 

MISI-ZIIBI: Living with the Great Rivers

Co-organized by the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis and the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Washington D.C., “MISI-ZIIBI: Living with the Great Rivers” was the first in a series of multi-disciplinary workshops that investigated spatial design strategies through the studying of innovative, integrated approaches for climate adaptation along the Mississippi, Missouri and Illinois rivers in the Midwest.

Initially focusing on the St. Louis Bi-state region, the first workshop outcomes were a broad-based set of proto-typological, multi-scaled planning scenarios worthy of more detailed study and intended to be transferable to other Midwest city regions.

H2O9 Forum Final Report

More than 325 of the the best and brightest Dutch, American and international water and planning minds gathered in New York and New Jersey Sept. 9-10, 2013, to discuss solutions to 21st century water challenges facing coastal cities.

During the H2O9 Forum, leaders in water-related business , policy, design, operations, and technology talked about ways they could partner with each other to create innovative solutions to the rising sea levels predicted as a result of climate change.

Read their final report on the conference:

H209 Forum Final Report, screenshot

America’s Ally in Water Management

The Dutch-U.S. alliance helps safeguard both countries from water-related crises, including floods and coastal degradation, and allows effective responses when the worst crises cannot be prevented.

Our partnership proved vital after Hurricane Katrina, when the Netherlands provided immediate and long-term assistance to the Gulf Coast, and after Hurricane Sandy hit New York and New Jersey.

Learn more in this video:

Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force

President Obama’s Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force has released its rebuilding strategy to serve as a model for communities across the nation facing greater risks from extreme weather and to continue helping the Sandy-affected region rebuild.

As part of the process, the task force has also selected 10 design teams, of which several Dutch partner firms are included, to proceed to stage two of the competition to determine which companies will help the region rebuild and fortify flood-control measures.

Read the strategy:

Hurrican Sandy Rebuilding Strategy Screenshot


Cities of the Future

First, set down in a delta. Then take a piece of land measuring approximately 200 x 300 km, add a little soft soil and a high groundwater level, call it “the Netherlands,” and you have the recipe for a people who are efficient, problem-solving and focused on innovation.

The Netherlands is the 134th largest country in terms of surface area, but the world’s 16th largest economy. That says something about organizational talent. As well as things like an efficient transport system, all those people living and working on a small piece of land need sufficient greenery, safe neighborhoods, protection against the sea and clean air – and it’s all delivered in one package, as has been the case for centuries.

But the city of the future will have to be more than just a random collection of ingredients. Climate change and increasing urbanization are taking their toll, so construction needs to change radically to be future-proof.

If it’s left up to the Dutch – with their centuries-old tradition of building alongside water – this overhaul will be so comprehensive that all segments of the construction industry will work together to build cities that are sustainable, clean, safe, accessible and green, all at the same time.

Read more in this publication:

Made in Holland, Cities of the Future, still

Room for the River

Room for the River is a program to give the river more room to manage higher water levels. At more than 30 locations, measures are being taken that give the river space to flood safely. Moreover, the measures are designed to improve the quality of the immediate surroundings.

By 2015, the Dutch will have lowered and broadened the flood plain and created river diversions and temporary water storage areas. Learn more in this pamphlet:

Room for the River screenshot

Relevant Links

Dutch Delta Commission: Keep up with the latest news and developments from the Delta Commission.

Dutch Water Sector: Learn more about the role the Dutch water sector plays in the world.

Living with Water: Details about the Greater New Orleans Water Plan, and how Dutch and American water management experts are working together to develop a strategy that ensures resiliency in delta communities.

Room for the River: Details about how the Dutch are making room the river to flood.

News coverage

American news coverage of the Dutch expertise in water management: