An Innovative Approach

No matter if changes are proven yet, a spatial design approach should anticipate on them. This implies a focus on the possibilities to use the changes for a positive development instead of preserving, protecting or control developments. This attitude requires genes of our ancestors: pro-active and forward-looking, qualities that were richly available until the 1970s. Without competences like visionary engineering and the expertise of designers, it is hardly possible to solve today the long-term spatial issues. Since 1970 the managers, procedure-guys and jurists took over power in the building practice in the Netherlands, urges for a figurative dike breakthrough (Roggema, 2005). When the national history and knowledge is given enough room again, it could be possible to make a national climate proof design, which can be compared with the Zuiderzee-works of eng. Lely and the plan for the Deltaworks. These designs were excellent in progressiveness, highly valuable in engineering and wise in simplicity. Our ancestors should be smart as the Greenlanders: They wouldn't live where the chances on floods were highest. In order to be prepared on an uncertain future, it is necessary to develop an unorthodox perspective. This kind of future vision needs to make use of old-fashioned smartness and traditional expertise of engineers. The Netherlands traditionally needs to be protected against the sea. In the winter-period storms will increase in intensity. The historic response to this would be to heighten the dikes, but doing so, the vulnerability of the country increases as well. A small breakthrough might have dramatic consequences. The question is if the Netherlands are at risk as much as New Orleans was in 2005. The answer is possibly no, but in any case it proves anticipative thinking if the country would introduce a coastal defence which is more flexible and resilient. Such a coastal defence might consist of new islands in front of the Dutch and Flemish coast (Fig. 2.1), which might temper the heaviest waves of the storm. These islands -or comparable new Wadden islands - create a lagoon full of nature. New nature emerges not only in the lagoon itself, but also in the deeper parts of the North Sea, where the sand for the islands is gained. The islands are suitable for recreation and new living areas and this makes it possible to finance the construction (Boskalis, 2008; Roggema et al., 2006).

Inland the sea will intrude the country more due to sea level rise. Therefore it is required that more space is created for the big rivers. More water needs to be discharged through Rhine, IJssel and Waal towards the sea, but the influence of seawater requires more room also.

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