September 15, 2009
by: Linda G. Miller

(Continued from above)

The “Dutch Dialogues” workshops were the outgrowth of extended interactions among Dutch engineers, urban designers, landscape architects, city planners, soils/hydrology experts, and their Louisiana counterparts. New Orleans-based David Waggonner, AIA, principal of Waggoner and Ball Architects, with the backing of the American Planning Association, initiated the talks, which continued at a panel including Waggonner, Bruce Knight, president of the APA, and Paula Verhoeven, director of the climate office for Rotterdam. While “safety first” remains the cornerstone of Dutch water management policy, a new “living with water” mentality has transformed its approach to urban design and redevelopment. In addition to dikes, levees, and super levees, the Dutch are building terraced levees, roof parks, water plazas, and water storage basins under parking lots. While the land is reclaimed from the sea in Rotterdam, the new port area frees up land in the city center for development.

In the panel New Opportunities for Blue/Green Development, “green” was talked about in terms of both sustainability and economic development. Trent Lethco, associate principal at ARUP, stated that we have to reclaim our waterfront from its industrial past. The question is whether to move buildings and infrastructure or repurpose them. Laurie Kerr, senior policy advisor for buildings at the NYC Mayor’s Office of Long Term Planning and Sustainability, expressed concern over the frequency of storms, flooding, and power outages. Most critical to Kerr is protecting critical infrastructure such as power plants, vehicular tunnels, and water treatment plants on the waterfront. Anneke De Vries, CEO of ING Real Estate in the Netherlands, presented a new mixed-used development her company is developing on the site of a former Shell Oil plant. According to NY-based developer Jonathan Rose, “the recession is a great time to plan projects like Battery Park City, which took 30-40 years to plan.” Ultimately, “AIA members have visions; design does matter on the waterfront,” AIANY Executive Director Rick Bell, FAIA, said in closing.


Our website has detected that you are using a browser that will prevent you from accessing certain features. An upgrade is recommended to experience. Use the links below to upgrade your exisiting browser.