We all know Captain Robert Falcon Scott as one of the tragic heroes of the heroic age of polar exploration: in 1912 he reached the South Pole, only to discover that the Norwegian Amundsen had beaten him to it. Scott and his companions did not survive the return trip. Scott’s polar career had already started in 1901, when he set off on a scientific expedition in the legendary ship the Discovery.
For the radio documentary of CBCRadio ‘go with the flow: Using nature to help fight climate change’ I talked about the challenges with which the Netherlands has to deal with concerning water. The Netherlands have to think ahead. If they don’t, this country will simply disappear under the waves. And that makes prevention really part of the DNA of this country.
The American television channel, CBS Sunday morning, visited the Netherlands to learn about how we deal with the rising sea levels. They interviewed me about my book Sweet & Salt.
Windmills are more than just a traditional part of the Dutch landscape; they have played a key role in the war Holland has waged against the sea for centuries. Today the Dutch are using ever-more innovative methods to combat rising sea levels, strategies that may also benefit other nations confronting the effects of climate change.
The New York Times quoted me when they recently published an article about architect Koen Olthuis this November. The reference derives from my article for the Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad from 2009 which is also recently translated.
The work of Dutch architect Koen Olthuis is still relevant because it is progressive and genuine at the same time. Olthuis envisions entire cities being built on water in the (near) future. ‘Save the world, build on water’ is Olthuis’ philosophy in a nutshell.
The relationship between the Netherlands and water is fascinating for foreigners – even for a foreigner like me who has been living in the Netherlands for more than thirty years. Watch and listen to my multimedia tour ‘Water’ in which I discuss the role of water in the Netherlands with water envoy Henk Ovink, farmer Nol Hooijmaijers and Florian Boer of De Urbanisten.
All three multimedia tours that I created on the occasion of being awarded the Maaskant Prize 2016 can be seen on www.tracyinnederland.nl
The Straits Times of Singapore wrote an article about my lecture with the title ‘Tackle floods? Create more space for water’. I gave this lecture, called ‘Water – Holland’s ‘Frenemy’, on February 18th for the Centre for Liveable Cities in Singapore.
The Netherlands is known for its control over water. But now that the climate is changing, the Dutch are also changing their approach towards water management. In cities more space is being created for water, the landscape is being redesigned to let water in and sometimes the dikes are even being lowered. Water is becoming a friend instead of an enemy – or better said, frenemy.
Read the article…