Readers of these pages will recognize the Netherland’s Henk Ovink. He is the Dutchman who came to the US after Sandy to share his country’s expertise in resilient designs for living with and staying safe from flooding.
He was also profiled in the NY Times Magazine around the time of the Rebuild by Design Competition that he led.
But a Dutch graduate student in landscape architecture may be giving him a run for his money. Marit Noest came to NJ two years after Sandy and after completely un-learning the Dutch way of doing things, she successfully wrapped her head around the American approach to the situation. She made a film called At the Edge for her graduate thesis which incorporates people’s attitudes towards rebuilding and using and enjoying the shore. She also made a terrific design for a stronger Asbury Park beachfront that lets people enjoy what the shore has to offer while making it much more resilient.
Trailer of the film here. And a presentation of Marit’s thesis plus the film here
We encourage you to fully explore everything about the project here. https://creatingattheedge.wordpress.com/
As a country below sea-level, the Netherlands has been dealing with water issues for centuries. In the 1950’s they began building the Delta Works, a series of massive barriers built to protect against the 10,000-year storm. They have stopped doing that since they don’t believe it is possible anymore in the face of sea level rise. They have re-thought their approach which is now to let the water in and live with the water. Henk Ovik was in charge of this in the Netherlands and was brought to the US to guide the Rebuild by Design competition. More on the man in the NY Times from April 9, 2014 by Russell Shorto http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/13/magazine/how-to-think-like-the-dutch-in-a-post-sandy-world.html
Raritan Bayshore – September 20, 2013 – Asbury Park Press Article by Ken Serrano
Henk Ovink knows something about how to keep the ocean at bay.
Hailing from the Netherlands, which started flood planning some 800 years ago, he served as the second in charge of a department in the Dutch government that deals with planning and water.
Now on loan to the U.S. government, Ovink arrived on the Bayshore Thursday with teams of engineers, architects, planners and scientists to learn how the locals live and to come up with better ideas to combat hurricanes and flooding.
“You’re facing something we’ve been facing for ages,” he said.
Ovink is heading Rebuild by Design, a federally funded program that has 10 transnational teams working on ways to shore up areas at risk from extreme weather. Watch the video above to learn more about the program. Full article here.