One thing that surprised me about Dutch water/land interaction is the difference in engineering behind each city. For example, if you look at Rotterdam and Amsterdam, even though they are both from the southwest delta, they are built extremely different. Rotterdam expanded through practical means by using structures in the landscape. Marshlands and sandbars were turned into islands and tidal creeks were turned into canals, doubling the size of Rotterdam. They also limited flooding by raising streets above sea level. The Waterstad had more space and a clean water system, attracting wealthy citizens and creating a nice waterfront. In contrast, Amsterdam was expanded through sheer resources and wealth through its canal ring. Sand was transported in to build up the canal ring which would keep the city as dry as possible. Although not built through the use of the natural landscape, the ring was influenced by Stevin, who hoped to combine the street and water system into one system. The resulting design of each city is heavily influenced by the people in charge of planning, as well as the residents funding it.

I dug deeper into the land composition of the Netherlands because a large factor of polders is the type of land they are built on. Using models of land composition is important especially when considering spatial development. As mentioned in the text, people have realized the importance of regional-scale planning rather than focusing on local or national levels. Because polders and cities were built based on the land, such as lakebeds or peats, it is important to be able to understand the differences between regions and their foundations.

Kroes, J.G. & Supit, I. & Dam, J.C & Walsum, Paul & Mulder, Martin. (2018). Impact of capillary rise and recirculation on simulated crop yields. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences. 22. 2937-2952. 10.5194/hess-22-2937-2018.


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