“You cannot fight water, you have to learn how to live with it.”

I cannot believe that a people as innovative, inventive, and resilient as the Dutch would not be able to deal with a problem like Global Warming and the rising of sea levels. The city of Amsterdam has such a wonderful history just in its development over the centuries. The Amsterdamers constantly shaped and rebuilt their city as it grew. They also spent a great deal of time, support, and money on public institutions such as elderly homes, hospitals, and orphanages early as the 16th and 17th centuries. Perhaps because they instinctively and shrewdly knew that the people are the heart of a city and it’s best to take care of the people so the entire city can prosper.

I found this article on a proposed ‘floating city.’ Amphibious houses and buildings would be built on flotation foundations that imitate the hull of ships. These houses are anchored in place by huge steel posts. As the water rises and recedes the house follows with it. This is great, but what about the beautiful buildings, palaces, of historic Amsterdam? What about the city itself? Could they possibly build strong enough hulls to keep these buildings afloat? Or would and could they relocate the city away from the rising sea. If you look at a map of the the region that projects the effects of a rise of 1 meter to the sea level, you can see what effect this will have on the Netherlands (map from http://flood.firetree.net/).

The article notes that there are efforts to design buildings that are up to 100 meters in height that are adaptable to this floating way of life. These engineers have simply adjusted their building principles to meet the demands of the elements. It’s really quite astounding when you think of it, the ingenuity and effort that makes such ideas and plans reality. It makes one feel quite good to be human.

Netherlands 1 meter sea level rise

Houseboat in Amsterdam

A Houseboat in Amsterdam

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