150 years New Waterway: how do we keep the Delta of the future livable?

De Nieuwe Waterweg
Guido Pijper

The Dutch Delta is lucky with its natural location as estuary of the rivers Maas and Rijn, and has been profiting from it for a long time. As economic driver, Rotterdam is inseparable from this delta. On the occasion of the 150th Anniversary of the New Waterway (Nieuwe Waterweg), PortCityFutures explores the past, present and future of this channel that links Rotterdam to the North Sea. On 13-14-15 October, the international symposium 150 years New Waterway takes place, where prof.dr. Paul van de Laar (ESHCC) will provide a keynote address. In the run up, the podcast Geluiden uit de Delta takes listeners along through stories of residents and professors about the meaning of the delta.

Worldwide, the development of port cities was accompanied by radical transformations of the coastal landscapes through land reclamation, diking and canalization. The construction and systematic deepening of shipping channels in particular play a key role in this, with the New Waterway (Nieuwe Waterweg) as an illustrative example. These coastal landscapes are the scene of increasing tension between economic growth and associated infrastructural interventions on the one hand, and the quality, sustainability and resilience of natural systems, spatial settlement patterns and urban societies on the other. How can new relationships between economic development and the natural system be established?

International symposium 150 years New Waterway

150 years ago, Pieter Caland initiated the digging of a waterway right through the dunes of Hoek van Holland, which made Rotterdam grow into a modern delta metropolis with global connections. Today, new challenges are on the agenda. How can we shape future growth and development in the light of climate adaptation, energy transition and urbanization? And how can this development contribute to improving the quality of life and natural value in coastal regions?

These questions are central during the international symposium that takes place on 13-14-15 October on board of the ss Rotterdam. Read more about the symposium and register! 

Are you a student or colleague? That means you'll be able to attend the symposium for free ('Package VI' in the registration form).

Podcast Geluiden uit de Delta

What did the creation of the Waterway mean for the surrounding area, and how has it changed in the past 150 years? In the podcast Geluiden uit de Delta, host Hilde Sennema (PhD candidate at ESHCC) asks the people that live and work there, and we hear from Rotterdam-based professors how scientific research can contribute to a sustainable delta.

What is the role of the city, now that port activities take place as far as 50km away? And what should Rotterdam do to keep the Delta of the future livable? Listen to the podcast Geluiden uit de Delta on Spotify.

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How can we shape future growth and development in the light of climate adaptation, energy transition and urbanisation? Come to this international symposium!
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