The Netherlands Consulate General in Miami, United States

Planning is key against rising seas

Renée Jones-Bos gives closing speech at American Planners Association conference in Los Angeles.

Seas are predicted to rise around the world, doubling the frequency of devastating floods, and putting at risk the lives and livelihoods of millions of people in Florida, Louisiana, Maryland, New York and beyond.

But the US can overcome the obstacles inherent in living with water by moving beyond engineering alone, shifting the way it calculates the costs, and using a Dutch approach to water management, urban planning and climate adaptation.

In a closing keynote speech at the American Planning Association’s Annual Conference, Renée Jones-Bos explains how the Dutch have overcome the challenges presented by an average of two major floods each century over the last millennium to become the planners other planners from around the world turn to for advice.

“In the Netherlands, and in New Orleans, businessmen, activists, politicians, stakeholders and other leaders are learning that only by comprehensively defining the problem can we design an optimal solution,” the Ambassador said. “So that when you invest, maximum benefits will follow.”