U.S.-Dutch Workshop Taps Into Water Issues

Since Hurricane Katrina, the Netherlands and Louisiana have partnered to share their expertise and experience in water management. The Urban Planning and Water Safety Workshop, to be held on the Tulane University campus starting today (Oct. 10), is the latest project in the continuation of Dutch and U.S. cooperation.

The four-day intensive planning event on the future of New Orleans was developed by the Royal Netherlands Embassy, the American Planning Association, Waggonner & Ball Architects, the Netherlands Water Partnership and the South East Louisiana Flood Protection Authority–East.

Participants will present their plans to key leaders in New Orleans and the region as well as the general public on Monday (Oct. 13) at 10:30 a.m. in the Kendall Cram Lecture Hall at the Lavin-Bernick Center on the uptown campus.

“The Netherlands has developed world-class water management practices and innovative flood protection infrastructure and policies,” said Ambassador Renée Jones-Bos. “We believe the Dutch experience could be helpful to Louisiana and other regions in America that grapple with water issues. This workshop enables us to better understand U.S. approaches to planning, and we in turn can demonstrate with concrete examples how we live safely with, and benefit from, water and our delta.”

The workshop will bring together a high-level group of 15 Dutch urban designers, landscape architects, engineers, government officials and planners to meet with their American counterparts. The Dutch and American participants will develop planning approaches and guidelines for specific areas of New Orleans in flood protection, redevelopment, water safety, system resilience and water amenities.

Several Tulane faculty members also are involved in the program. John Klingman, Favrot Professor of Architecture, and Grover Mouton, adjunct associate professor of architecture, will identify issues and map ideas that could be applied to infrastructure in New Orleans.

Richard Campanella, research professor in earth and environmental sciences, will make a presentation on historical geography related to water and infrastructure.

A key component of the event will be a rigorous two-day session in which participants will divide into multidisciplinary teams to collaborate and produce maps, drawings and plans illustrating how neighborhood to regional redevelopment planning can be greatly improved by incorporating Dutch flood protection and safety concepts.