Designed for Dry Feet: Flood Protection and Land Reclamation in the Netherlands

July 1, 2015

Few countries exist in which humans have exerted a greater influence in shaping the landscape than the Netherlands. Winner of the 2008 ASCE Civil Engineering History and Heritage Award, Robert J. Hoeksema, Ph.D., M.ASCE, will talk about the history of flood protection and land reclamation in this small Western European country. Living in the lowland delta of three major rivers, the Dutch have applied many approaches to protect their land from floods and to reclaim previously flooded land. His presentation will cover simple dwelling mounds first built around 500 BC, windmill- and steam-powered lake draining schemes of the 17th to 19th centuries, large-scale land reclamation activities of the 20th century, flood control barriers built in response to the 1953 flood disaster, and climate change adaptations initiated in the 21st century. Hoeksema will share this and more as a Distinguished Lecturer at the ASCE 2015 Convention in New York, Oct. 11-14.

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