An aerial view of the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy to the New Jersey coast taken during a search-and-rescue mission by the New Jersey Army National Guard on Oct. 30, 2012. Photo: US Air Force by Master Sgt. Mark C. Olsen.

Henk Ovink, the Netherlands’ special envoy for international water affairs, will participate in a panel discussion about Rebuild by Design, the federal response devised to make coastal cities more resilient in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, at the National Building Museum in Washington,D.C. November 19.

Joining Mr. Ovink on the panel are: Shaun Donovan, former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and chair of the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force; Kate Orff, founder and principal of SCAPE, a New York-based landscape architecture and urban design studio; and Dawn Zimmer, former mayor of Hoboken, New Jersey.

The discussion will take place from 6:30 to 8 p.m. November 19, at the National Building Museum, 401 F Street NW, Washington, D.C. The program is free, but registration is strongly encouraged.

Water management and climate change

While the 2018 hurricane season will end November 30, the discussion about water management and climate change will continue.

According to The Weather Channel, the Atlantic Ocean has produced 15 named storms this year, eight of which strengthened into hurricanes. In 2012, Hurricane Sandy, one of the deadliest hurricanes in US history, struck the East Coast and resulted in more than 200 fatalities and $70 billion in damage.

Sandy was the starting point for the cooperation between Mr. Ovink and his counterparts in the United States and the inspiration for the US government initiative, Rebuild by Design.

Book signing

Henk Ovink wrote a book, “Too Big: Rebuild by Design: A Transformative Approach to Climate Change,” to document the federal government’s response to the storm. A book signing will follow the talk.

This program is underwritten by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Henk Ovink will be available to meet with media at 5:30 p.m. on November 19. Contact Carla Bundy at 202-274-2632 to coordinate an interview.

Follow the discussion on Twitter using #DesigningforDisaster.


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The Netherlands diplomatic network in the US promotes strong bilateral relations between the United States and the Netherlands, especially in the areas of agrifood and horticulture, water management, sustainable urban planning, peace and justice, and creative industries. Read more on and follow us @NLintheUSA.