Through the use of smart and sustainable urban planning, Rotterdam sets an example in climate resiliency.


For more than 800 years, the Netherlands has dealt with flooding from both the sea and rivers, proving its resiliency time and again by adapting strategies to meet evolving challenges.

As a result, the Netherlands has become world leaders in water management and resiliency, and shares its expertise with nations all over the world.

The Dutch have recognized that traditional methods of water management, such as dams to keep water out, are no longer sufficient, and that a change in strategy was needed to battle rising sea levels and climate change. One example is a large-scale program aimed at creating room for the river to flood.

In the US, Dutch experts in resiliency are working with counterparts in New York, New Jersey, the San Francisco Bay Area, Houston, New Orleans, and Charleston.

With this mission to Boston, those Dutch experts are sharing their experiences with the New England region, making the Netherlands and Boston a natural fit for climate resiliency.

Henk Ovink, the Netherlands’ Special Envoy for International Water Affairs, is leading this resiliency track with Dutch companies including Arcadis and One Architecture & Urbanism, both of which are active in the resiliency industry in Massachusetts.

The schedule includes a high-level resiliency forum, a  resiliency seminar with the City of Boston, a regional water seminar with the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, a design working session at Accelerate Wentworth Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center, which will be attended by Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, and the signing of a joint-venture contract regarding the development of Boston’s smartest and most sustainable office building.

Follow the mission on Twitter, #NLinBoston.

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