LH.20.002 – THE DUTCH WATERSCAPE: Investigating long-term spatial and social interrelations through big data for an inclusive, sustainable and just future

Route: Living history

Cluster question: 011 How can we ensure proper water governance in the future?

The aim of DUTCH WATERSCAPE is to understand the paradigms and interconnected spatial and social conditions of Dutch living water history, to generate awareness and to co-create methodologies and practices of addressing the challenges of contemporary and future water-related transitions. The climate emergency and rapid urbanization are rearranging relations of living in The Netherlands and will require extensive adaptation of the water system, with consequences for the everyday lives of millions of people. Much is uncertain about the spatial and social impact of sea-level rise, storm surges, river floods, drought, salinization, soil subsidence, or the quality of drinking water (UN SDG 6). The Delta Fund has reserved the necessary funds (€ 1.3 billion per year) to address these and to keep the country safe in the long term. Technical innovation and funding are important to make the country safe; we also need a better understanding of spatial and social conditions to establish and refine co-creation practices. DUTCH WATERSCAPE argues that contemporary challenges are connected to how the Dutch citizens have designed their territory, produced a specific landscape and addressed questions of conflict and consensus around issues of water and water heritage. The necessary transition towards a new, climate adapted water system requires collaboration and action among diverse public and private, and civic partners as well as open and participatory practices based on collective (rather than only professional) and a longitudinal understanding of the water system. This requires careful assessment of past and current water spaces, practices and planning paradigms, costs, risk and impact of technological and societal intervention and cultural change.


built environment, Cultural Heritage, Governance, sustainability, water management

Other organisations

Rijksdienst Cultureel Erfgoed


Organisation Delft University of Technology (TUD)
Name Prof.dr.ing. C.M. (Carola) Hein
E-mail c.m.hein@tudelft.nl
Website https://www.tudelft.nl/en/architecture-and-the-built-environment/about-the-faculty/professors/profdring-cm-hein/