Dutch Urbanism and the Resilient Cityscape

THU, OCT 27, 2016 (00:00)

The Dutch landscape is mostly water and sand, and most of that exists below sea level. It is not a country rich in natural resources, yet despite these limitations, the Dutch have managed to create a vibrant culture, and economy. Dutch architecture and a value for urbanism contributed to creating place, and that helped balance the needs of the fragile ecology, while building urban landscapes that not only met the needs of a dense and growing populace, but created some extraordinary urban constructs (think Amsterdam, Delft and other canal cities). Even today, this tradition of integrating architecture, urbanism, engineering and landscape design helps shape the continued transformation of contemporary Dutch cities, like Rotterdam and its expansive harbor. In this discussion, a panel of experts lead us through the Dutch experience with an eye to how Boston is now facing the prospect of rising sea levels. They show some new trends and strategies that contemporary Dutch designers, urbanists, planners and engineers are engaging in as they again face rising sea levels. In particular, they focus on how new forms of public space, landscape and infrastructure can be integrated into a more resilient urban landscapes.

+ BIO: Travis Bunt

Design Director for URBANUS Hong Kong since 2011. Executive Curator of the 2013-14 Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism and Architecture for Hong Kong.

+ BIO: Joan Fitzgerald

Joan Fitzgerald focuses on urban climate governance and the connections between urban sustainability and economic development and innovation. Her third book, Emerald Cities: Urban Sustainability and Economic Development (Oxford Univ. Press), examines how cities are creating economic development opportunities in several green sectors and discusses the state and national policy needed to support these efforts. Emerald Cities builds on her 2002 book, Economic Revitalization: Strategies and Cases for City and Suburb (Sage), which identifies strategies for incorporating sustainability and social justice goals into urban economic development planning. In 2012 she published a three-volume anthology, Cities and Sustainability. Fitzgerald has published in academic journals such as Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, Local Environment, Economic Development Quarterly, Urban Affairs Quarterly, Urban Affairs, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, and the political quarterly, The American Prospect. Her academic and consulting work has been supported by the Funders Network for Smart Growth and Sustainable Communities, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur, Annie E. Casey, Rockefeller Brothers, Rockefeller, Surdna, Century, and Robert Wood Johnson Foundations and the Urban Sustainability Directors’ Network. She has also conducted research for the U.S. Department of Labor, the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, the Boston Housing Authority and other government agencies. She is currently working on her next book, Greenovation: Urban Leadership on Climate Action, which examines how cities advance green technologies. In addition, she is examining governance of green storm water infrastructure. She teaches “Cities, Sustainability and Climate Change” and “Urban Revitalization.” Before coming to Northeastern University, Joan taught urban planning and policy at the New School University, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and Ohio State University. She is the former director of the Law and Public Policy program at Northeastern University and also served as interim dean of the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs from 2012 until 2014. Under Joan’s leadership, the school established new connections across Northeastern and throughout the Boston community. Through the Smart and Sustainable Cities hiring initiative, Joan transformed the faculty of the Policy School. She fostered and led new programmatic initiatives such as the Urban Informatics master’s degree and certificate programs and the development of the Resilient Cities Lab. She expanded SPPUA’s Open Classroom series to include topics such as climate change, health policy, and water in an era of climate change.

+ BIO: Wendi Goldsmith

A seasoned entrepreneur and scientist recognized for leadership in sustainable development and climate resilient design. Proven track record helping business and government to identify and operationalize emerging technology related to the built environment and industrial ecology. Experience spans consulting, R&D, and numerous Board roles for NGO and business.

+ BIO: Jaap van der Salm

Jaap van der Salm (1985) studied Landscape architecture at Wageningen University and obtained his master’s degree in 2010. His thesis ‘A working landscape for New Orleans’ on storm water management and water as an urban amenity – was published in a limited edition and was nominated for the Archiprix award in 2011. His thesis served as input for the Dutch Dialogues II workshop, an initiative bringing together Dutch and American professionals on complex water challenges. Since 2010 Jaap has worked as a landscape architect for H+N+S. He focuses mainly on large scale water related national and international projects. In the above projects Jaap combines solutions for flood safety with ecological, recreational and urban development. He has further developed integrated design skills in a number of international projects, among others, in Turkey and the United States and likes to cooperate in multidisciplinary teams with both Dutch and foreign professionals. Jaap has won several design competitions: ‘New impetus for neighbourhoods from the 70s and 80s in The Hague in 2011 and the redevelopment of the former Polaroid ‘performance factory’ in Enschede in 2013.In his spare time Jaap can be found sailing on his boat, racing his bike or in the mountains.

Boston Society of Architects/AIA and the BSA Foundation
Climate Change