Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Dutch Symposium at IIT to add program on New Orleans and the Dutch experience at Holding Back the Sea

When hurricane-force winds broke through the barriers, the result was a catastrophic flood that killed over 1,800 people, destroyed over 3,000 homes, and left over 700 square miles under water. However, the place was not 2005 New Orleans, but The Netherlands, circa 1953. Like New Orleans, large amounts of its territory is below sea level, and the country's survival down through the centuries is a direct result of what it's learned about keeping out the sea. (Read more here.)

Now, the organizers of Sustainable Waterfronts, Learning from the Dutch Experience, a symposium to be held at IIT on September 29th and 30th, have added a panel discussion for September 29th - time still to be announced - considering the Dutch experience and the challenges facing New Orleans as it rebuilds.

Participants will include:
- Dico van Ooijen from the Netherlands Ministry of Public Works and Water Management who will show the efforts of the Dutch since the flooding in 1953 to protect their country from a recurrence.
- An official from the Dutch Ministry for the Environment and Spatial Planning who will talk about the planning and environmental impacts in the Netherlands where a large part of the country is below sea level.
Two American participants are expected to be added shortly.

More information on the symposium and registration here.

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