Water Talks is my new podcast about water: too much, too little, too dirty and … too unequal. During the UN Water conference, the first one in nearly 50 years, I spoke to a wide range of people in New York and the Netherlands – artists, activists, academics, engineers, policy makers – about how we can and should move forward in order to save ourselves and our planet from the water crisis. This second episode is called: Too Much.
It was the water that made Manhattan a desirable place already for the Dutch in the 17th century. Writer and historian Russell Shorto brings that story to life during a walk through what was once New Amsterdam. It was that same water that almost drowned the city when Hurricane Sandy hit in 2012. In a twist of history, Sandy brought the Dutch back. Special envoy for international water affairs Henk Ovink was instrumental in bringing about the UN Conference on water, hosted by the Netherlands and Tajikistan. And architect and urban designer Matthijs Bouw of One Architecture is designing new infrastructure to repair and prepare New York for the next storm. Flood protection the Dutch way, with not just concrete walls but with green public spaces and parks and promenades, all built with American go-get-it-ness.