The American television channel, CBS Sunday morning, visited the Netherlands to learn about how we deal with the rising sea levels. They interviewed me about my book Sweet & Salt.
Windmills are more than just a traditional part of the Dutch landscape; they have played a key role in the war Holland has waged against the sea for centuries. Today the Dutch are using ever-more innovative methods to combat rising sea levels, strategies that may also benefit other nations confronting the effects of climate change.
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Water is life – and death. As floods and droughts assume Biblical proportions in many areas in the world, the magnitude of the water issues we face is penetrating our awareness and our political and spatial agenda. Nowhere is that clearer than in the Netherlands, where mastery of the water has always been a condition for survival. If there is one element which is crucial to the Low Lands – for its sheer existence, for its landscape, for its identity – then that is water. The Dutch created land by pushing the water out with dikes and keeping it out with pumps. Now, however, the country that has refashioned its landscape so distinctly in order to keep water out, is letting it back in. For Landscape, the magazine of the British Landscape Institute, I wrote an essay based on my book in collaboration with Maartje van den Heuvel, Sweet&Salt: Water and the Dutch. Read the essay here: Tracy Metz – Designin for water: the sweet & the salt of it – 2012 – Landscape Institute
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Sweet&Salt: Water and the Dutch is the title of book and an exhibition on the changing relationship between the Low Countries and that element which is so fundamental to the landscape and to the Dutch identity: water. Under pressure from climate change, the Netherlands are redefining their relationship to water, and in the process are subjecting the landscape to an extreme makeover. Crown Prince Willem-Alexander accepted the first copy of the book and opened the exhibition in the Kunsthal in Rotterdam in February 2012.
Here is the English edition of the book:
Cover photo by Han Singels, design by Marty Schoutsen of Opera.
You can order a copy here.
February 12th, 2012: I present the first copy of the Dutch edition of ‘Zoet&Zout: Water en de Nederlanders’ to crown prince Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands. The English version, ‘Sweet&Salt: Water and the Dutch’ will appear later this week. The prince also opened the eponymous exhibition in the Kunsthal in Rotterdam, curated by Maartje van den Heuvel. Read the article…