Self-reliant Island of Dordrecht

The municipality of Dordrecht set the ambition to become self-reliant. The starting point here is the hypothesis that the citizens of Dordrecht are not able to leave the island in cases of extreme climate conditions (storm at sea and extreme high river levels). The main question of being self-reliant is: how can residents survive for a certain period on the island of Dordrecht. The aim of the study is to get a better understandig of what this ambition means: what measures are needed and can we link these measures with other programs and projects on the island of Dordrecht.

Three workshops were organized. The first workshop discussed the consequences of possible breaches via a method of so called ‘storylines’. These storylines show the changes in water level and the flood, the functioning of vulnerable (critical) infrastructure and the acting of authorities and citizens in time. The focus was on the ‘what-if’ questions. Suppose a dike breach occures, then what will happen and how will the different actors behave.

The second workshop explored possible measures related to a strategy of multi-layered safety. What measures are needed for the island to function in the case of a dike breach. For the workshop we prepared a set of cards with possible measures, related to dikes & spatial development (layer 1 and 2), evacuation & sheltering (layer 3) and vital infrastructure. During the workshop the cards were discussed, complemented and positioned on maps.

The last workshop we linked spatial developments and investments in Dordrecht with the necessary measures for a self-reliant island. This has resulted in a selection of specific projects from various municipal policyfields. These provide immediate opportunities for linking projects to one or more layers of multi-layered safety.