Climate Resilient Cities: The Dutch Approach

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As urban planner, KCAP is facing the challenges of ecology and constantly strives to develop futureproof and resilient cities for future generations. With our broad multidisciplinary approach to complex design issues, we ensure that sustainability and resilience strategies are incorporated and addressed in a holistic manner on all levels of our designs. To share that experience and show how we are designing solutions for smart and resilient cities, Jeroen Dirckx is joining the Smart Cities mission to New York. The multidisciplinary Dutch delegation will visit and contribute to the Smart Cities New York conference that will take place from May 13th – 15th. In the workshop ‘Climate Resilient Cities: The Dutch Approach’, Jeroen will explain our expertise on resilience with among others the example of our urban plan for HafenCity Hamburg.

HafenCity is Europe’s largest inner-city redevelopment project. Being transformed from a former port area into a new city district, HafenCity enjoys a magnificent location at the water. At the same time it has to cope with the risks being located in the flood zone of the river Elbe. The urban plan, that was developed in cooperation with ASTOC starting in 2001, concepts for flood prevention have been integrated right from the start. Instead of building costly dikes that would have also negatively influenced the attractiveness of this unique waterfront location, the area has been designed flood proof. The most important means are that the buildings are built on mounds of 8 - 9 meters above sea levels and streets and bridges are elevated to more or less the same height. This ensures that even during severe storms, the buildings are be protected from flooding and traffic can continue. To add to the attractiveness of the waterfront location, the promenades enjoy the proximity to the water as they remain on the lower level of the port. The mounds along the promenades accommodate retail outlets, exhibition spaces and parking and can be individually sealed off with waterproof steel doors in times of flooding.

Also in KCAP’s other water-oriented masterplans like FredericiaC in Denmark, Jurong Lake District Singapore, Longang Riverfront Shenzhen and other projects in both Europe and Asia, we face the challenges of ecology and strive to design futureproof and resilient cities for future generations. In all our designs, we approach environmental issues as an integral part of city planning. That implies a shift from traditional technological solutions towards a more comprehensive holistic approach that covers aspects of ecology, climate, energy, mobility, circularity and many more. We develop smart and customized solutions that integrate strategies for a sustainable and resilient development of our urban environments.