Workshop • October 2008

Dutch Dialogues II

In October 2008, American and Dutch planners met in New Orleans for a workshop entitled "Dutch Dialogues II — Safety and Value from the Water." This was the second workshop organized by the American Planning Association, the Dutch Embassy in Washington, D.C., and Waggoner & Ball Architects.

Participants were welcomed by U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu on the first morning of the four-day workshop. The work began with presentations giving an overview of New Orleans's history and geography and the effects of Katrina. This was followed by presentations showing the Dutch approach to managing water in existing city centers and areas of new development. The afternoon of the first day was spent on an orientation tour, which gave participants a look at the canals that keep the city dry on a daily basis, as well as the Lakeview and Lower Ninth Ward neighborhoods, which were most impacted by the 17th Street Canal and Industrial Canal levee failures.

The participants were divided into three teams, each with a different scale: a regional team; a "sub-regional" team, which focused on an area defined by the Gentilly Ridge, the London Avenue Canal, the Industrial Canal, and Lake Pontchartrain (referred to as the Gentilly team); and a "neighborhood" team, which focused on the Central City neighborhood. On the second and third days of the workshop, these teams worked separately to develop concepts to manage water and create amenities at each scale. On the fourth day, these concepts were presented first to elected officials, including city council members, and U.S. Sen. David Vitter.

Following the presentation to elected officials, the concepts were shown again at a packed public presentation.

For more information, and to download the full report, visit