The Delta and Urbanism

The readings offered a lot of insight into the history of the Holland Landscape. The most interesting thing about the politics of this region is the way the people there went about creating the draining systems along with the pumps to reclaim the land. Unlike most countries that would head these projects through the government, Holland developed through independent agencies separate from the main  government. Organizations like the Delta Metropolis Union and the Eo Wijer foundations help bring cohesions to the landscape and keep everyone on the right track together. The most interesting thing about the engineering of these dykes is how long ago the original ones were created and the reason they were created. These dykes go all the way back to the 14th century when the sea broke into the land claiming a large portion. It’s interesting that the technology of the engineering of the time was able to pump these large amounts of water. The reading describes how multiple windmills with layers would be used to pump water not only out of the land but up too which could transfer water from places of lower elevation to higher. Interestingly, The Dutch were the first to do this and would not show off their corkscrew elevation windmill designs to the world until much later in the 1600s. When I looked deeper into this history, I figured out that windmills were not a new invention of the time and have been used for millennia but the mechanisms of pumping water was brand new for the time. I think the model that should be learned from is the Dutch’s way of always using the newest technology for efficiency and sustainability. The Dutch have not stayed with the same windmills but have adjusted to the times and eventually created clean electric pumps that keep the water from reclaiming the city.

Stokhuyzen, Frederick. The Dutch Windmill. Translated from the Dutch by Carry Dikshoorn. Illus.: J.C. Lunenburg; Drawings: after Sketches of the Author. Universe Books, 1963.


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