The tagline ‘Open Mind Sharp Business’ expresses the correlation between the mentality and the business climate of the Amsterdam region. ‘Open mind’ refers to the region’s diversity, inclusiveness, openness to new ideas and quality of life. ‘Sharp business’ emphasizes innovation, entrepreneurial spirit and the ability to do business swiftly. I am one of the Amsterdammers who were asked to embody the character of Amsterdam for this short film for the IAmsterdam campaign.
During TEDx Zwolle I gave a lecture about water in the city around the world. The sea and the rivers have shaped the identity and the country itself. Climate change increases the risk of flooding and drought. The effects of a disaster in a densely populated country like The Netherlands are incalculable. Climate change is now forcing itself upon us: a new reality that cannot be ignored. Read the article…
I interviewed urban planning professor and author of ‘Emerald Cities’ Joan Fitzgerald for the John Adams Institute. Given the lack of national policy on climate change, cities have stepped into vacuum and are developing strategies of their own. Good for the climate, good for the economy, says urban planning professor Joan Fitzgerald.
As the rest of the world is coming to terms with catastrophic floods and droughts, the Dutch are telling – and selling – what they have learned through centuries of experience. In his story, reporter Jeff Chu quotes me as a person “who best represents how Dutch thinking about water management has evolved over the past two decades”.
Foto’s Misha de Ridder
The American magazine Architectural Record was so impressed by MDW’s social housing project on the site of the former soap factory Savonnerie Heymans in the center of Brussels that they put it on the cover of the March issue. The architects managed to retain the industrial flavor of the location while providing social housing that has shared public space, amenities and – perhaps the most important – dignity. Read my article here.
The Dutch are the canaries in the global-warming coalmine, writes James Russell in his review of Sweet&Salt: Water and the Dutch in the December print issue of Architectural Record. ‘Sweet&Salt is a profoundly humanistic consideration of the culture of water, with many ideas by designers about how to deal with water’s myriad challenges.’ He describes the book as ”an intensely visual consideration of the history, culture and engineering of water that engages our senses and our emotions – not just our intellect – with its ravishing photography, cartography and art.” He is manifestly relieved that it is possible to talk about water issues and climate change without having to put on a hair shirt.Read the article…