Multifunctional flood defenses: Technical design problem or policy challenge?

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Abstract

Over the ages delta areas have greatly benefitted their inhabitants. They generally provide fertile soils, rich fishing grounds and easy water transport, which facilitates trade. These natural resources stimulated population growth and made deltas densely populated areas. The threat of flooding by storm surges at sea or high discharges from the rivers has never driven the inhabitants to higher and safer grounds. They accepted the recurrent disasters as inevitable, or they started to defend themselves and their properties by building on existing hills or by building artificial mounds or even dikes. We can see this in the occurrence of the Dutch words for mounds and dikes in the names of old cities and streets, like ‘hil’, ‘-warden’, or ‘-terp’, and ‘-dijk’ or ‘-dam’.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIntegral Design of Multifunctional Flood Defenses
Subtitle of host publicationMultidisciplinary Approaches and Examples
EditorsBaukje Kothuis, Matthijs Kok
PublisherDelft University Publishers
Pages56-57
ISBN (Print)978-94-6186-808-4
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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