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International Symposium 150 Years New Waterway

International Symposium 150 years New Waterway

On the occasion of the 150th Anniversary of the New Waterway (Nieuwe Waterweg), the LDE PortCityFutures Center explored the past, present and future of this channel that links Rotterdam to the North Sea. It explored questions of shipping, dredging, and planning in the context of the Dutch delta and linked it to ongoing debates on the environmental, spatial, and societal conditions of shipping channels internationally. 
Canals, and other man-made interventions, have supported maritime traffic and port development for many centuries. Radical transformations of these shipping landscapes through land reclamation, diking and canalisation have been praised and celebrated as Herculean works of progress and modernity. Today, they are the scene of increasing tension between economic growth and associated infrastructural interventions focused on the quality, sustainability and resilience of natural systems, spatial settlement patterns and urban societies.
Channels and the landscapes that host them require radical reorganization of land use in their vicinity and of associated infrastructure to address (1) the globally recognized need for an energy transition, to mitigate and adapt to climate change and (2) to enhance the sustainability and resilience of the natural and societal systems of these regions, with the goal creating safer cities and richer ecosystems. Future strategies need to be based on broad public debate and support.  
The symposium brought together a diverse group of international and local academics and professionals to discuss initiatives and possibilities for shipping channels and port cities, the challenges and implications for water management, spatial planning and design, and public participation. It set the stage for much-needed interventions in water-related planning and management worldwide. We present the work of our speakers in this exhibition, where we highlight the presentations given at the symposium.

Visit the Symposium Website

Presentation Recordings

Is Rotterdam Digging its own extinction?
Janna Cox - PhD Candidate Utrecht University

The Economic Perspective of the New Waterway: 'The Big Reversal'
Frank van Oort - Erasmus University

Compare and Contrast: Houston - Rotterdam
Baukje Kothuis - Netherlands Business Support Office Houston

History and Future of Venice and its Lagoon
Vittore Negretto - Università Iuav di Venezia

Setting the Stage: Caland and Dredging. The Pride of Rotterdam
Hilde Sennema - PhD Candidate Erasmus University

Sea Level Rise - Consequences for the port of Rotterdam and the greater Rotterdam area
Pim Neefjes - Rijkswaterstaat

The Houston Ship Channel: An Energo-Environmental History
Dominic Boyer -  Rice University, US

Why Sustainability Assessment of Port Projects Matters
René Kolman-  IADC

Scenarios of the Port of Rotterdam for the Future
Carline Borest - Port of Rotterdam

Shipping Channels, Flood Risk and Deltas: The Netherlands and Houston, a Reflection
Bas Jonkman - TU Delft

The Suez Canal: Global Powers, Local Consequence
Cornelia Redeker - Umeå University

Want to learn about identifying the spatial, social and cultural aspects of water heritage in your environment? Check out our free online open course: