Welcome to the Dutch contribution to the SZDWSee the public program
More and more people are living in cities, which are often located along rivers or on the coast. These urban places are increasingly experiencing longer periods of drought, massive land subsidence due to groundwater extraction and heavy rains. Low-lying geographies and mounting risks from sea level rise make these coastal cities especially vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Today, 90% of all natural disasters are water related, and water-related problems affect billions of people and cause trillions of dollars of damage. But we can change course, and we must!
The Netherlands presents: “Water as Leverage for Sustainable Development: A Call to Action by Design.” Here we showcase the compelling water approach of the Netherlands as an act of ingenuity, collaboration and design. The water expertise of the Dutch has been famous for centuries, and remains both timely and topical by engaging in international partnerships and innovative projects across the globe, in Asia in particular. The international practice of designing by and with water is embodied in the official launch of the second edition of the World Water Atlas, an in-depth knowledge bank and platform on water design intelligence. Against this backdrop, a special event page featuring Dutch water design expertise in China – most notably in the Pearl River Delta region – is launched at the occasion of the Shenzhen Design Week 2020.
Why the Dutch are invited
The Netherlands is a leading nation in water management, and enjoys global recognition for its resolve to address multiple problems with the unifying power of design. In recent years, water is increasingly recognized as an important indicator of climate urgency and enabler for sustainable development. From this recognition, the concept of “water as leverage” has emerged, by which water is used strategically to foster global climate resilience initiatives and accelerate innovative climate action. The Netherlands and China are both partners in the Global Commission on Adaptation and host the Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) in Rotterdam (HQ), Groningen and Beijing. At the SZDW, special attention will be given to the historical legacy of Dutch water traditions, and to the specific context of Guangdong. Events will include a webinar series designed to strengthen the Netherlands-Shenzhen partnership and to enable participants to gain an in-depth understanding of water challenges in the Pearl River Delta challenges. Speakers from both countries will highlight opportunities for the future and engage in an in-depth dialogue with professionals working across the water and creative sectors of Shenzhen.
Shenzhen is an ideal platform for this process of partnering and sharing knowledge on water management. The city has earned a global reputation as a powerhouse of innovation, but also faces resilience numerous challenges as a marine and delta city that most likely will be hugely affected by climate change. It also has been assigned as the location of a new pilot demonstration zone with the objective to “take the lead in creating a beautiful Chinese model of harmonious co-existence of man and nature”. The Dutch guest country contribution supports and enhances this agenda, preparing the city for a more climate resilient future of urban development.
Dutch Water Design in Shenzhen and Mainland China
Today, Dutch creative professionals draw from the long Dutch history of water management, designing by, with, and in spite of water, and using water as leverage for social good. Water professionals from the Netherlands are active worldwide, engaging with pressing environmental issues that come with climate change. Working in places where there is – or will be – too much or too little water, or water that is too dirty, Dutch designers and engineers are often part of the solutions team. Wherever and whenever we can, we share our expertise and experience to support the development comprehensive plans and infrastructure to proactively address water challenges across the globe. China, and in particular Shenzhen, represents a shining example of this engagement. Several Dutch offices are working on key challenges for Shenzhen, addressing issues such as coastal protection, waterfront development, surface water pollution. The overall goal is the improvement of urban quality by embedding consideration of these and other pressing water issues within a wider urban design practice. Often, Dutch companies and working professionals are involved as part of vast collaborations with local and international partners. Here you can find 6 recent and topical examples, representing the range of expertise from Holland applied in China.
Water as Leverage for Sustainable Development: A Call to Action by Design
Guest Country Pavilion The Netherlands Shenzhen Design Week 2020
Hosted by: Shenzhen Design Week & Global Design Award Organizing Committee
Offered by: Kingdom of The Netherlands
Curated by: Henk Ovink, Special Envoy International Water Affairs, Kingdom of the Netherlands Ole Bouman, Founding Director of Design Society, Shenzhen
Organized by: China Merchants Shekou Holdings | Sea World Culture & Arts Center
Presented by: Design Society
Guided by: Shenzhen International Culture Exchange Association, Shenzhen Innovation & Creative Design Development Office
Supported by: Bureau of Water Resources of Shenzhen Municipality
Planned by: Publicity Department of Shenzhen Municipal Committee of the CPC Han Wangxi, Director of Shenzhen innovation & Creative Design Development Office
Bureau of Water Resources of Shenzhen Municipality Zhang Liwei, Director of Bureau of Water Resources of Shenzhen Municipality
Consul General Kingdom of the Netherlands in Guangzhou Michiel Bierkens
Organizational team of Design Society: Sun Qijie, General Manager Zhao Rong, Deputy Director of Design Society Sherryl Pan, Exhibition Manager Zhou Chenchen, Exhibition Manager Amber Zhang, Head of Development and Public Relations Liang Jing, Development and Public Relations Officer Gu Ling, Head of Communication Dong Qingyuan, Curitorial Assistant Chen Junwei, Exhibition Assistant Guo Xiaojing, Exhibition Assistant
Database WWA backend: Deltares Database WWA front end: Voorhoede
Content partners: Daan Stoop, project manager Water as Leverage Asia, Rijksdienst voor Ondernemers (RVO)
Marinke Steenhuis/Paul Meurs
Bureau of Water Resources of Shenzhen Municipality
Deltares Felixx KCAP MLA+ NL Urban Solutions OKRA OMA West8