#e.24393 Thursday 9:00AM to Saturday 5:00PM
November 21-23, 2013
CM | 24.00

Soft Soils Need Solid Governance

New Orleans, LA

The course aims at informing relevant stakeholders such as urban managers, policy makers, and urban planners on subsidence in cities. Topics that will be addressed include the causes of subsidence, the consequences (damage, loss of investments), and possible ways to cope with subsidence. The set-up of the course enables interactions with experts during a 1-day field trip and exchange of best practice solutions among a (global) group of subsiding delta cities. The last day of the course includes the possibility for the participants to present their own subsidence case. The interactive discussion on the different cases will lead to innovative solutions to minimize subsidence damage in the urban environment.
The course is designed for those scholars that want to improve the use of the urban subsurface and water management and to limit subsidence rates towards a sustainable acceptable level. The teachers of the course come from different backgrounds: scientists/researchers, spatial planners/architects and damage experts.

Thursday, 21 November: EXPERIENCING SUBSIDENCE: Field trip
The course will start with a field trip in the urban area of Greater New Orleans (parishes Jefferson, Orleans & St. Bernard) and the surrounding wetland areas. We will experience the damaging results of subsidence and discuss with local stakeholders how to deal with this. During this field trip we will be accompanied by world experts in subsidence processes. We will show the results of subsidence on buildings and infrastructure. We will apply some shallow and simple borehole tests, to understand subsurface and groundwater characteristics. During the field trip there will be ample opportunity to discuss all aspects of subsidence: the process, monitoring, measures to slow down this process, building on vulnerable areas, salinization due to subsidence, dike safety etc.

Friday, 22 November: YOU CANNOT MANAGE WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW: Introduction to subsidence processes
During the morning the scientific background of subsidence will be presented, based on state-of-the art scientific knowledge..
Subsidence results from different processes, i.e. groundwater or oil/gas extractions, loading, drainage etc. After this morning you know the ins and outs on subsidence processes, including its spatial and temporal characteristics. You will understand the impact it has on Delta cities.
During the afternoon the consequences of subsidence will be discussed. How does damage develops? How can we determine, quantify and monitor damage? Who is currently paying

Saturday, 23 November: DEALING WITH SUBSIDENCE: Subsidence and governance
Often subsidence is recognized as a serious problem, but governments are hesitating to take responsibility. Doing nothing will create serious risks for damage in future (i.e. flooding). In delta cities, subsidence is often larger than sea-level rise by climate change. It is therefore necessary to raise more awareness. It’s about understanding the processes in the subsurface and groundwater and communicating these with a broad public. To determine plans for existing urban areas, and to improve future urban developments. Main question will be to organize subsurface and water management in Delta Cities in a sustainable way.
During the afternoon we will focus on solutions. What are technical solutions, such as raising construction sites, using light-weight material, limit groundwater extraction and limit drainage? How can we adapt in vulnerable situations, i.e. in spatial planning, building institutions, collecting and using required data? How can we built subsidence-proof, from foundation to design?


Email: Roelof.Stuurman@deltares.nl


Roelof Stuurman

Gilles Erkens

Torbjorn Tornqvist

Mead Allison

David Waggonner

Jaap Bijnagte

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