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This is the report for the 2017 edition of the Summer School Planning and Design with Water, which explores the rich Dutch tradition of city design with water.

The Netherlands has a long and rich tradition of bringing together water management and urban development. Initially a country built on swamps and marshes, threatened continuously by the sea, with a large portion of its territory below sea level, the Netherlands is known today as a reference for outstanding achievement in combining water management, urban design and planning. Building on territorial conditions that even the Romans considered inferior forced the Dutch into vision building, cooperation and carrying out urban plans collectively as early as the sixteenth century. This has fostered the birth of a particular societal model known as the “polder model”, based on consensus-building and collective action for the creation of public goods. This was necessary for the country to even exist.

The Netherlands is a leader in engineering and in technological solutions for dealing with water issues, particularly flood risk. Much has been achieved in reclaiming and protecting land, but in face of continuing environmental threats and climate change this battle to contain flood risks is now seen as futile. This means that rather than fighting the water, the Dutch now seek to work with the water system and other natural systems in order to create more sustainable and prosperous cities and regions. Instead of “taming nature”, the Dutch now seek to work with nature.

The Summer School builds upon this tradition. It's objective is to promote education for water resilient cities around the world. The 2017 edition had 82 students, who elaborated a vision and a strategy for an area in the city of the Hague.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherSpatial Planning and Strategy, TU Delft
Number of pages316
ISBN (Electronic)978-94-92516-73-2
Publication statusPublished - 20 Feb 2018

ID: 51428282